MASVINGO – The head of Ndarama High School in Masvingo, Oddy Matongo, has refused to allow an external forensic auditor to examine the school’s financial records, much to the dismay of parents who have been complaining about the alleged misuse of school funds.
According to a report by the Masvingo Mirror. the auditor visited the school to obtain certain books of accounts but was denied access by the head, who insisted on first reviewing previous sets of books that are now missing and believed to be held by a former chairperson of the school’s committee, Enesia Chekacheke.
Parents suspect that there has been systematic embezzlement of funds from the school and had previously taken legal action to remove a chairperson who had served in that position for 18 years. Matongo declined to comment on the matter and referred inquiries to the District Schools Inspector, Ismael Chigaba. Chigaba stated that Ndarama High School is a government school and can only be audited by government auditors, not external ones.
He mentioned that government auditors had already conducted an audit in January, with the results being sent to the Ministry of Education.
Parents are seeking clarity regarding school funds that have not been accounted for, including a US$800,000 loan from BANC ABC whose purpose remains undisclosed, and an amount of US$4,270 that was used by the school authority without being deposited into a bank account.
They are concerned about Matongo’s resistance to the audit and question who may be supporting him in acting unlawfully. In response to parents’ concerns, the school fees imposed by Matongo were successfully reduced from US$158 to US$80 per term.