Zimbabwean students have demanded the immediate arrest of government officials and student leaders who convinned to squander $220000 meant for student funding under the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund (ZIMDEF)
Government officials in the Ministry of Higher Education allegedly corruptly assisted the Zanu PF-aligned Zimbabwe Congress of Students Union (Zicosu) to access more than US$220 000 meant for Zimdef over a four year period, in a scandal exposed by a private newspaper- the Zimbabwe Independent.
ZIMDEF is a fund meant for polytechnic student’s upkeep and is administered by the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education.
However, students are angry and demanding the arrest of those implicated in this scandal which has seen some of them go for months without their Zimdef payouts.
In an interview with this reporter, a student from Harare Polytechnic demanding to know why the government had not responded to this scam and declared ‘students will put pressure” on the government to stop the graft.
“It is painful that some of us have gone to the extent of almost being removed out of school when someone was drinking our money and splashing it all in an illegal and immoral manner. We will put pressure on the government to punish them” he said.
The revelations of these corrupt activities have also been confirmed by Deputy Higher Education Minister Godfrey Gandawa in several internal memos reportedly sent to colleges.
His phone was not reachable at the time the story was published.
The umbrella body of students the Zimbabwe National Students Union has declared that they will use any means necessary to stop these activities.
In a statement the student body said “ZINASU will use any means necessary to ensure that these anti-education barbarians and ZANU PF runner boys are stopped from further corruption immediately and permanently. Their tendencies of abusing students’ hard earned cash to go for joy rides abroad and semesterly tourism escapades in countries like Mozambique should be stopped” said the students union in a statement
Zimbabwean colleges have been dogged with allegations of corruption and mismanagement of funds.
Last year a student President Shadowlit Ndou at the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) made headlines for allegedly swindling the university of Science and Technology students $10 000 which he had withdrawn for his personal upkeep while in attendance Robert Mugabe’s one day birthday bash.
“ZINASU has therefore demanded that the ministry officials involved in this scam to immediately resign, ZICOSU should pay back the ZIMDEF money immediately, public accountability systems should be put up to ensure and assure transparency of the ZIMDEF funds, all colleges should put in place public accountability systems of the SRCs subscriptions” the statement added.