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Teachers’ unions have welcomed the auditing of schools’ accounts across the country, amid claims that there is rampant abuse of levies and fees by school heads and school development committees.

They said the audits should be done regularly to stop fraud and theft, which compromise the quality of education.

The hundreds of auditors, who have been on the ground for almost a fortnight, are expected to have audited at least 82 percent of schools countrywide by year-end.

Zimta president Mr Richard Gundani said the exercise should be systematic.

“Auditing must not make news, but should be done regularly,” said Mr Gundani. “Let’s not wait for cases of fraud and embezzlement to start auditing and investigating.

“Headmasters and SDCs must be well trained on management of funds so that they get the school going. Parents must have confidence in them and know that they are not being swindled, which also improves the education sector,” he said.

“If funds are managed well, our children then acquire quality education because all the necessary tools for them to pass would be available, including books and furniture.”

Teachers Union of Zimbabwe chief executive Mr Manuel Nyawo hailed the audits but said schools should be thoroughly investigated.

“Minister Dokora (Primary and Secondary Education) has done well in trying to follow up on how the headmasters and SDCs carry out school business, which is good for the education sector,” he said.

“It is not a new thing that schools are audited, just that the process had been stopped during the Zimbabwe dollar era.

“There is nothing wrong in seeing how schools are managing their accounts. I think schools mostly affected are the elitist schools. Such problems are minimal in schools in rural areas,” Mr Nyawo said.

A number of school authorities have been in the courts recently, with the latest being a bursar at Makomo Primary School in Epworth, who allegedly connived with the school’s former headmistress and her deputy to steal more than $80 000.

In another case, a headmaster in Glen Norah, Harare, together with his SDA chairperson, reportedly connived to defraud the school of over $2 000.

Progressive Teacher’s Union of Zimbabwe national co-ordinator Ladistous Zunde said no one was above the law and those found to have abused funds should be brought to book.

Parents also urged SDC members to be transparent in their operations.

Source : The Herald