Chaos at Highlands Junior School as 200kg meat disappears

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  • 200kgs of meat went missing
  • 800 000 litres of water cannot be accounted for
  • Zwl$200 000 disappears from school account

PARENTS and guardians of pupils at Highlands Junior stormed the school demanding that the head resigns or be transferred to another school.

Ncelani Mandeya, the head of school, stands accused of misappropriating the institution’s funds, including failure to run the school efficiently.

The parents became livid after an audit statement by the Education ministry revealed that 200kg of meat and more than 800 000 litres of water were unaccounted for in the period extending to two years.

Parents accused Mandeya of inflating prices and misrepresenting information, leading to the school losing large amounts of money.

“How can you explain a situation where ZWL200 000 disappeared with no trace from the school accounts. How come she claims to have bought water for use at the school, while there is no water to clean the toilets. That’s not acceptable,” charged another parent who identified herself only as Natasha.

Speaking to Zim Morning Post, chairperson of the School Development Committee, Jonathan Chandaengerwa, said the headmistress was acting corruptly.

“The parents had suggested that there be two separate accounts, one for tuition fees and the other for levy,” said the SDC chairperson.

According to the chairperson, Chandaengerwa, the levy account was supposed to be managed by the SDC.

Despite that, Mandeya reportedly sat on the papers that would have allowed an SDC representative to be signatory to the school’s levy account.

He also said the headmistress would abuse her position by authorising irregular payments not approved by the SDC, with most of the payments inflated.

“Whenever the SDC disapproved the purchasing of something, Mandeya would go behind us and process the purchases. We think that’s how she would inflate the prices,” Chandaengerwa added.

The SDC chairperson added that school vehicles were no longer functional although parents were paying enough to ensure that vehicles were serviced.

“Schools have just opened, but the boarding side is already serving rice with cabbage and royco, yet we just paid the fees,” charged another parent.

Teachers and ancillary staff at Highlands Junior also accused Mandeya of running the school single-handedly,accounting for the school’s deteriorating standards.

Another general hand at the installation alleged the headmistress was not professional as she would often make them fetch water from a swimming pool within the premises to clean the toilets, yet parents were buying water for use by the installation.

“We clean toilets with water we are fetching from the pool yet she lies to parents that she is buying water,” said another school employee who declined to disclose his name in fear of victimisation.

We are surprised that a lot of money is said to have disappeared, yet we are only paid ZEL300.”

Speaking to Zim Morning Post, the Provincial Education Director, one CC Katerere, said he was not aware of the complaints by parents at the school.

“I am not aware of that demonstration, and I have not been informed. Either way, I am just an employee just like any other teacher. I, therefore, cannot comment on issues involving my colleagues,” Katerera said.

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