Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Corruption rocks Teachers' college

THE Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education has unearthed massive corruption and abuse of funds at Belvedere Technical Teachers' College in Harare with indications that the institution could have been prejudiced of over $500 000 between 2009 and 2012.

During the investigations, it was also established that Matthew Gandawa, an accountant at the college, together with an intern in the same department - both of whom have since been arrested - connived to offer students fraudulent receipts after pocketing money paid for fees.

The two were also implicated in several other shady deals including clearing students in arrears, breaching procurement procedures and sale of carpentry products from the college's woodwork department for as little as $10 using fraudulent receipt books.

Corruption rocks Teachers' college

According to internal audit reports for 2009-2011 and 2013 sent to the Comptroller and Auditor General, several students with arrears at the college were corruptly cleared by the accounts department, costing the college of over $200 000 in 2012.

The investigations also established that coal worth over $3 000 paid for as far back as 2011 by the college through a middleman had not yet been delivered.

The auditors also discovered that clients who hired college facilities, including Mazoe Garden Plaza and Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council to conduct their business in 2011, were yet to pay for the services.
"The audited expenditure for the year under review according to the cashbook amounted to $667 242 and the disclosed expenditure reflected on the financial statement totalled $539 966 giving a variance of $127 276. Therefore, the disclosed expenditure for the year under review could not be relied upon as it was understated by $127 276," a 2011 report said.

Patrick Chinhoro, who took over as college principal in 2012, claimed in his report to the ministry that after he came into office, he observed that there were no records of fees' arrears and security systems against theft of college property and financial records were poor.

"Before I came into office, the accountant used to purchase groceries (which he shared with the former principal) worth at least $900 every month. The cost of groceries for the principal's office rarely exceeds $200 per month," Chinhoro claimed.

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