By Tendai Kamhungira
Lecturers at the University of Zimbabwe have raised a red flag, claiming the institution is being run by a cartel which is prejudicing the institution of millions of dollars.
In a December 2017 report to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc), the lecturers want a comprehensive forensic audit to be instituted amid claims that some of the senior officials at the country’s oldest university have changed their lifestyles overnight.
“Millions of dollars in students’ fees are being siphoned by top executives of the institution through overpricing of goods and services, flouting of tender board procurement guidelines, disregarding the university’s purchasing policies through splitting of tenders and haphazard construction projects made to secure rich pickings.
“These corrupt activities have seen overnight changes in lifestyles of some of the executives who are suspected to now own a fleet of top-of-the-range cars as well as a number of leafy suburban houses at the expense of quality education for students,” the report said.
According to an anonymous report, millions of dollars have been creamed out of the institution through none-core activities such as tree felling, purchase of lawn mowers, solar lighting systems and legal fees.
Substantial amounts of money have also been spent on alleged unbudgeted and unnecessary expenditure on construction projects.
The lecturers are also demanding the immediate departure of UZ vice chancellor Levi Nyagura for allegedly presiding over a corrupt administration.
“The report will recommend quick audit and investigations into massive corruption at UZ. A forensic audit has to be instituted as soon as possible and this will definitely make goings on at Bindura University of Science Education uncovered in a recent forensic audit done at that institution, a child’s play,” the lecturers said.
They also said that the institution was charged about $9 000 for tree felling.
This has also been made worse by nepotism and academic fraud, which include the awarding of former first lady Grace Mugabe’s PhD, with allegations that she only visited the institution on graduation day.
“Financially, the parallel programme run at UZ is generating millions of dollars and the parallel and part time programmes as well as the February intakes have doubled the work load for staff where the UZ is now running more universities in one.
“Thus, staff is only being paid or remunerated for the conventional group while all other classes, staff is teaching them for free and the monies generated are all used by the UZ executive,” the lecturers said.
According to the report, the UZ administration is closely linked to a Zanu PF faction known as Generation 40 (G40).
“They have already hatched a plan to hoodwink the President of the State Cde ED (Emmerson Dambudzo) Mnangagwa by conferring a degree on him as the new chancellor of the UZ and by renaming the new Diamond Lecture Theatre in his name,” the report reads.
The report further stated that some of the senior officials run colleges using UZ funds, while some of the institution’s properties have been transferred ownership into private names of the management.
Some positions were reportedly filled without adverts, with special mention to the deputy registrar academic post.
Efforts to get a comment from the UZ spokesperson, Daniel Chihombori, could not yield results, as questions sent to him via email had not been responded to at the time of going to print. DailyNews