The Sunday Mail
Disgraced former Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa allegedly looted development funds and assets of two schools in Nyanga, and converted the money to personal use.
The case is before the courts and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has opened its own investigations.
Nyafaru primary and secondary schools were constructed after independence on land President Mugabe gave the Tangwena people in appreciation for their help when he crossed into Mozambique in 1975 to prosecute the liberation struggle.
Mutasa is the director of Nyafaru Development Company (NDC) which oversees the running of the schools.
He and NDC chair Pearson Kasu allegedly grabbed four vehicles, including an ambulance, donated to the community.
Mutasa, it is alleged, also took at least 400 head of cattle from the Tangwena people and has over the years tried to take over their land.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Lazarus Dokora said: “The matter is before the courts. We cannot, at the moment, give the exact amounts that are alleged to have been looted. However, a report will be complete in the coming week.”
Nyafaru Secondary School Development Committee legal representative Mr Amon Toto said the case has been in the courts since 2004.
He alleges that Mutasa interfered with the school’s financial administration and took money for personal expenses.
In papers filed at the High Court, the school development committee wants Mutasa and his company barred from interfering further.
NDC, the Ministry of Education and Mutasa are respondents.
The papers read, in part, “On the other hand, the first respondent (NDC) through its officials have done everything in their power to derail development of the school including vandalising the school property through the thugs that they have been sponsoring.
“Establishing a bar selling alcohol within the premises of the school. In one instance, 72 window panes were broken by one of the agents of the officials of the first respondent.
“Despite the resolution of September 16, 2004, the first and third (Mutasa) respondents have been trying to disturb the smooth operations of the two schools in various ways.”
SDC chair Mr Nhamo Nyagondora said Mutasa and Kasu allegedly took 20 percent of school funds intermittently.
“We have since dragged Cde Mutasa to the courts so that NDC will be excluded from handling the schools’ affairs.
‘‘Cde Mutasa and his company are failing to explain to us the whereabouts of a tractor, an ambulance, two Land-Rovers and a five-tonne truck.
“He is also failing to account for the 400 cattle.
‘‘We are urging the relevant authorities to intervene so that Cde Mutasa is removed from being part of the Tangwena community. We have since told education officers that were dispatched from Harare how the NDC management was siphoning school funds for their personal use. We have failed to construct two classrooms as a result of this interference.”
Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister Mandi Chimene said: “We have met representatives from the Tangwena community who alleged that Cde Mutasa and his team were taking school funds for their personal use.
“Our office is going to visit the Nyafaru community and carry out an audit with the aid of education officers so that we establish the exact amount of money that is alleged to have been looted by the parties involved.”