Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
A Kwekwe High School teacher and a School Development Committee (SDC) clerk allegedly defrauded desperate parents who were searching for Form One places at the school.
The suspects, a history teacher only identified as a Mr Zimende and the SDC clerk, Mr Sham Mwarowa, allegedly demanded money ranging from US$80 to US$750 after promising parents and guardians places for their children at the school.
After making the payments, the parents would then be directed to the clerk where they would make payments and get receipts and other requirements.
The issue only came to light on the opening day when school authorities discovered that there was an extra class of about 30 students leading the school head Mr Nelson Shumba to launch an investigation.
When a Chronicle news crew visited the school, desperate parents were milling around the school pleading with school authorities to allow their children into class while investigations were in progress.
The school head refused to entertain the media.
The SDC chairperson, Mr Takaedza Ntuli confirmed the incident.
He said they had concluded initial investigations and they were handing the matter over to the police.
“We are handling a fraud case at the school where a teacher teamed up with a SDC secretary to prejudice parents who came looking for Form One places. As we speak, we have concluded initial internal investigations and we are now reporting a case of fraud against the two to the police so that the law can take its course,” said Mr Ntuli.
He said parents came armed with admission forms showing that their children had been accepted for Form One.
“We then asked parents and they told us that they were given the forms by the two. So as part of our investigation we interviewed the parents who implicated the two,” he said.
Mr Ntuli said they have since suspended Mwarowa, while Zimende’s case is now in the hands of the police and education authorities.
He said they were making arrangements with other schools so that they can accommodate the affected children.
“The head is calling other neighbouring schools to find out if they can accommodate the affected students because at the end of the day, we do not want to prejudice innocent children. We had set up four classes but due to pressure we had allowed them to be six, that is when we discovered that we had an extra 30 children,” said Mr Ntuli.
Kwekwe District Schools Inspector Mr Hebert Maziriri also confirmed receiving the report.
“I received the report and we initiated investigations. I am waiting for the outcome and we will compile a report that we will then send to the Provincial Education Officer who is then able to give you finer details,” said Mr Maziriri.
As schools reopened, demand for school places also increased.