As schools prepared to reopen in phases after the months of Covid-19 national lockdown, a Chipinge headmistress claimed to have sold roofing material removed from her school’s three classroom blocks, ostensibly to raise funds for the purchase of face masks, The Manica Post reported.
According to minutes of a recent School Development Committee (SDC) meeting, which the newspaper had in possession, Mundanda Primary School headmistress, Ms Eve Zuze confirmed that she sold the roofing material without the committee’s approval.
The roofing material included 300 asbestos sheets, 65 pairs of roofing ridges, 90x6m roofing timber as well as the administration block’s building material.
A whistle-blower, Mr Lyton Dhliwayo, told The Manica Post that the headmistress said she sold the material with the intention of buying several items for the school, including face masks for pupils and teachers.
“We are not happy with the way things have been going on at Mundanda Primary School. We only learnt during the SDC meeting that the roofing material from three classroom blocks was sold by the head. She didn’t even bother consulting anyone.
“She volunteered to produce receipts for the items she purchased using proceeds from the sale of the roofing material but the parents could not entertain that.
“A mobile phone service provider had pledged to renovate the classroom blocks in question. To our surprise, we heard that the roofing material had been sold,” he said.
Chipinge East Member of the National Assembly, Mr Mateo Mlambo, confirmed receipt of the report.
“As the leadership of the area, we are investigating the matter. We were all seized with the school’s development plans and this report takes us a few steps back,” said Mr Mlambo.
Village head, Mr Pardon Mundanda, weighed in saying the responsible authorities must intervene and get to the bottom of the matter.
“The roofing material was removed as termites had damaged a considerable part of the buildings. However, the classroom blocks were supposed to be renovated and we were shocked to hear of the unsanctioned sale,” said Mr Mundanda.
When contacted for comment, Ms Zuze referred all questions to her superiors.
“Just hold on to the story until I brief my superiors. You can get hold of my superiors after an hour, by then I would have managed to communicate with them,” she said.
But Manicaland provincial education director, Mr Edward Shumba, could not be reached for comment as his mobile number was not reachable.
Chipinge Rural District Council’s chief executive officer, Mr Blessing Mamvosha, said his office has dispatched an investigating team to the school.
“We have dispatched a team on a fact finding mission. We will get back to you when we have their report,” said Mr Mamvosha.
Irate parents are clamouring for a police investigation on the matter.
“It is unfortunate that instead of witnessing development, we have been witnessing the deterioration of standards at the school. We are moving backwards.
“My children are enrolled at that school simply because I have no other option. Due to the mismanagement at Mundanda, other parents are sending their kids to the nearby primary school, which is 3km away. My children are too young to walk that distance. Police should move in and investigate this matter,” said Mrs Esther Simango.