An audit on Masvingo City Council school books has revealed that more than ZW$100 000 is missing at Dikwindi Primary with the school admin suspected of siphoning the money.
The audit results that Open Council had sight of revealed that the unknown suspects could have been siphoning money paid as fees by parents through fraudulent means.
Sources said the suspects would under receipt, deliberately writing correct amounts on the original receipt but then go on to put a lower figure on the duplicate that the school would remain with.
It is alleged the parent would be given the receipt-bearing a correct figure paid while the remaining duplicate receipt will have an incorrect amount.
Another source in the Audit Committee said while the suspects have not been identified, the school could have lost thousands of dollars through such practices and the Council should take the school administration to task.
“As a routine after an audit, we convene a meeting for audit results and it is when we realized there could be fraud at Dikwindi Primary School. The scam has not yet been made public as it is yet to go before a full council meeting but that is what has been discovered,” said the inside source.
“The money involved amounts to more than ZW$100 000. This could have been going on since 2016 as fees receipts are showing wrong figures since then. The person would say write ZW$100 instead of ZW$1 500,” he said.
He said the committee raised concern over the porous nature of the council schools’ accounting system and recommended effective review.
“We have our own internal auditor who did these books and gave recommendations. Some of the recommendations are that schools should have a full proof accounting system which is not easy to tamper with.
Finance and General Purpose Chairman Councillor Babylon Beta confirmed that there was a meeting over such involving members in the audit committee but the results are yet to be made public.
“An audit committee is deliberating on audit results and soon the findings will be made public in a Full Council Meeting. While I am not in the committee, it is true that there is financial mismanagement at some council schools and some money is missing,” said Clr Beta.
Deputy Mayor Councillor Wellington Mahwende said Masvingo City audit was last done three years ago due to manpower challenges that a number of irregularities could have gone unchecked for long.
“We are looking forward to getting the audit results from the committee responsible and one of the things we are awaiting with battered breaths is the financial mismanagement happening in some council institutions.
“If there is evidence of fraud, obviously we will enlist the services of police to make investigations and we will provide them with the information we have. However, there has not been one person accused so far,” said Clr Mahwende.