|Schools audit unearths serious irregularities|
|Saturday, 09 June 2012 22:52|
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THE probe by Government into school accounts has unearthed gross irregularities in the way school finances were being handled, amid revelations that a good number of school heads are facing prosecution after failing to account for funds.
A team of auditors was last month dispatched to schools in various parts of the country to audit accounts.
Deputy Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture Dr Lazarus Dokora said on Friday last week in a telephone interview with Sunday News that the audit had unearthed a lot of irregularities in the way school funds were being handled.
Although he could not give the specific figures of those who embezzled school funds and the amounts concerned, he said school heads in some parts of the country were facing prosecution after failing to account for certain amounts of school funds.
He said the process was ongoing and more anomalies were likely to be uncovered as the ministry moves on to instil a culture of accountability in the way school funds are supposed to be handled.
“I do not have the figures with me but what I can confirm is that a lot of anomalies have been unearthed in the way school funds were being handled. Some school heads in areas such as Matabeleland South province where most of the schools have been audited were made to report to the police after failing to account for school funds.
“The audit is ongoing and there are no plans to halt the process soon. We even have a feeling that it should be done frequently so as to cultivate a culture of accountability in the handling of school funds. It’s the kind of blitz that is aimed at ensuring that the use of funds in schools is properly accounted for. As for the figures, you can get them from respective provincial education directors,’’ he said.
Dr Dokora said it was only through employing such strategies that loopholes and leakages were plugged in the entire education sector, adding that the thrust was to cleanse schools of corruption and abuse of funds meant for development.
The announcement that the ministry was dispatching auditors to schools countrywide send shivers down the spines of some school heads and SDC members who saw their positions as passports to wantonly abuse school funds.
Announcing the decision to send auditors to schools last month, Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart said those found guilty would be prosecuted.
“A variety of issues, mainly mismanagement of funds came to my attention and as a ministry we have no option except to institute probes into those allegations.