The Zanu PF government has been accused of trying to loot school fees paid by parents to fund the 2018 elections through abolishing school development associations (SDAs), which have been running of all State-owned schools.
Source: ‘Zanu PF will loot school levies’ – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 24, 2016
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
SDAs reportedly manage $1,2 billion in fees yearly.
Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday said he feared that if the Primary and Secondary Education ministry took control of fees, the quality of education would collapse, as the money would not find its way back to schools.
“This is Zimdef (Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund) part two. Our government must take stock of its own record of performance before assuming further fiduciary duties. The SDA funds will fund politics,” he said.
Social commentator, Rashweat Mukundu called on government ministers to keep their hands off the management of schools, which most of their children do not attend and leave them in the hands of parents.
“School development levies are not taxes and the government has no business in dictating to parents what and how to use levies on. Rather, the government must capacitate schools to enhance accountability,” he said.
“No one trusts this government with money, so this is another thieving project by (Primary and Secondary Education minister Lazarus) Dokora and team. Parents are not asking for protection from Dokora, but to be left to manage schools.”
MDC-T spokesperson, Obert Gutu dismissed the move to establish a National Building Fund (NBF), where all schools would contribute their fees, as an attempt to loot funds ahead of the 2018 general elections.
“Hands off SDAs! We know that the proposed NBF will be looted left, right and centre, just like what is happening with Zimdef. You cannot release a hungry lion inside a cattle pen and hope to still keep and grow your cattle herd,” he said.
People’s Democratic Party spokesperson, Jacob Mafume said Zanu PF was already abusing school buses to ferry its supporters to rallies and it was only logical to fear the takeover of SDAs was for “looting”.
“This government is full of crooks from their own confessions. Look at how they have been abusing school buses and now they want to keep money. How can they be better at keeping money when they have lost a whole currency?” he said.
Human rights activist, Gladys Hlatywayo said the move should be opposed because it was a big scam.
“This is serious fundraising at play and surely the schools will cry foul. This massive fraud waiting to happen must be opposed by every sane Zimbabwean,” she said.