Friday 9 September 2022


HEADS are finally rolling at Hartzell High School following the suspension and transfer-listing of two senior officials as part of recommendations made by an investigative audit conducted by the parent ministry at the institution.

The Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has suspended Hartzell High headmaster, Mr Shorwi Kawadza and his deputy, Mr Godwin Mupuro, pending their transfers.

Two senior teachers – Mrs EZ Mufori and Mr Sande – are holding fort as acting headmaster and acting deputy headmaster respectively, pending the posting of substantive administrators at the end of this month.

An official hand-over-take-over which marked the end of the Kawadza era was done on Monday in the presence of the new School Development Committee (SDC) that was elected into office last week on Saturday.

Manicaland Provincial Education Director (PED), Mr Edward Shumba confirmed the latest development when contacted for comment on Wednesday.

“I have checked and was told that the headmaster is currently on (forced) leave and there is somebody acting in his absence. The school opened well without the headmaster and from the brief I got from the District Schools Inspector (DSI) in Mutasa, everything is in order.

“However, we are still working on the audit report findings. I haven’t received a full dossier as yet, as I have just assumed office. I am waiting for the then acting PED, who is currently out on official business, to brief me and chart the way forward,” said Mr Shumba.

Mr Kawadza’s exit coincided with the dethronement of the Mr Patrick Sangandira-led SDC that allegedly aided in the looting of school resources over the last two years.

The latest administrative changes come at a time when Hartzell High has been plunged into darkness after its electricity was disconnected as it had allegedly bridged one of its main metres illegally.

The new SDC, led by one Mrs Gwanyangwanya, was on Tuesday making frantic efforts to engage the power utility to get the school switched back on.

The Manica Post understands that Metre Number 368839 was undercharged by $1 347 310 for the period spanning from January 2020 to June 2022.

An investigation on June 30 found that the metre was partially by-passed, resulting in free electricity (30 000kw) being supplied to the school without being billed.

The school was fined an administrative charge of US$600.

The new SDC cleared the $1,3m debt and the US$600 fine on Wednesday.

Three investigative audits conducted by external auditors, the ministry and the insitution’s responsible authority – the United Methodist Church – exposed massive looting of financial and material resources at the school.

Feeling short-changed, parents then petitioned the Education Ministry.

The audits also showed that foreign currency transactions were unaccounted for, while voluminous expenditures had no supporting documents.

Bank reconciliations were also absent, while weak internal controls and risk management arrangements were exposed.

Under Mr Kawadza’s rein, payments were made without source documents, hence there was no evidence to suggest that such payments were genuine.

Employees’ salaries were also paid without attaching salary schedules, thereby raising the risk of paying ghost employees.

According to the audit report, Mr Kawadza, through his Mutrue Company, received from the school payments amounting to more than $2 million for firewood.

Mr Kawadza had not declared his interest in the transaction.

The company’s registered directors are – Shorwi Kawadza, Janepher Kawadza and Mutsa Chanyoka, all of the same Hobhouse 2, Mutare address.

The school paid Mutrue Investments $238 541 in 2020 and $1 978 110 in 2021 for various items, mainly firewood, but there were no invoices to prove that the items purchased were indeed received by the school.

The auditors noted significant governance issues in respect of procurement procedures and weak internal controls.

The majority of the purchases had no quotations, invoices, goods received notes and supporting documentation, making it difficult to determine whether the purchased goods were received by the school. Manica Post


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