Audit unearths rot at Highfield school

HARARE - A government investigative audit of Highfield 2 High School has unearthed abuse of funds, flouting of tender procedures and other malpractices that have prejudiced the institution of tens of thousands of dollars.

Highfield 2 High School headmaster Morgan Magwenzi declined to comment on the issue.”

The audit, which was done in May, unearthed abuse of funds by the school authorities including the former School Development Association (SDA) committee.

“I noted that the debtors value of $148 327 disclosed in the 2015 financial year did not include debtors for the prior years 2009 to 2014 which the bursar said existed but failed to avail for audit. The debtors figure for 2015 was therefore understated.

“However, since prior were not availed to audit, it was difficult to reconcile and establish the understated amount. This was contrary to the requirements of Education Act (25:04 Section 23) which states that the head of every government school shall keep and maintain such accounts and other records, and provide such information, as the secretary may, from time to time, in writing require,” the audit report reads.

“A variance of $40 was noted when a cash account was carried out. The cashbook balance was $150 while actual cash on hand was $110.”

Treasury instruction 0435 states that where any loss or deficiency of cash, stamps or negotiable instruments is discovered and after preliminary investigation it is suspected that such loss or deficiency is attributable to criminal action, it shall immediately be reported to the police for investigation and to the receiver of the revenue who shall report the matter to the Auditor-General.

“Personal files for School Development employees (ancillary staff) had no essential documents particulars, educational qualifications, police clearance and medical report. Contracts of ancillary staff had also expired,” added the report.”

The new SDA — which was elected in February — in March wrote a letter to the Education ministry complaining about flouting of tender procedures.

“The incoming SDA has noted with concern the following serious anomalies: Dubious contracts between the school and various service providers which are not reduced to writing thereby violating section 12 (1) of Labour Act; failure by the outgoing chairperson to present a written annual chairperson’s report a smooth handover takeover as there was no shred of documents that was made available for new committee,” the letter reads.

The SDA and the administration is blocking them to set up proper accountable structures.

The scandal mirrors the situation at many other government schools where abuse of funds by headmasters and school development committees has become the order of the day.

Comments (2)

They should also audit Southerton Primary School, please.

Yohwe - 17 October 2017

audit all govt schools

g40 - 17 October 2017

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