ZACC, RBZ DESCEND ON SCHOOLS newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

ZACC, RBZ DESCEND ON SCHOOLS newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

The government has launched a multi-agency operation to account for schools demanding tuition fees exclusively in foreign currency while refusing to accept Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), in violation of exchange control regulations.

Officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC), the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and the police will be deployed to pursue school authorities who flout the law.

Initial investigations by the FIU have since established that some schools charge up to 80 percent of tuition fees in US dollars and the rest in local currency.

Other school authorities reportedly claim that their accounting systems are not yet configured to process ZiG payments, yet others are demanding fees at black market exchange rates.

However, the FIU noted that most schools were cooperative.

A survey conducted by our office in Harare last week also showed that some public and private schools are demanding at least partial payment of tuition fees and school development fees in US dollars or at inflated exchange rates.

Most state and missionary boarding schools have pegged their school fees at between US$300 and US$600, and some require full payment in advance in foreign currency.

Day schools also require fees in foreign currency, although some offer payment plans.

Those who accept local currency peg their fees to black market rates, which can be as low as one US dollar: ZiG22.

In addition to law enforcement agencies, the government will deploy school inspectors across the country to ensure that schools offer different payment options.

In an interview, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Mr Musa Mekki, said schools were obligated to accept payments in arrears.

“As the RBI shared in its Monetary Policy Statement as monetary authorities, schools are obligated to accept ZiG as part of the multi-currency system operating in the country,” he said.

“Therefore, school authorities are expected to adhere to the announcement made by the RBI regarding the new currency being introduced.

“It is not a matter of choice, but merely accepting ZiG as legal tender, which is among the basket of other currencies. Therefore, as usual, schools are expected to provide parents and guardians with all payment methods, such as cash, online transfers and swipes.

He added that parents and guardians should be allowed to pay tuition fees and levies in the currency of their choice.

“The Department will work with other government agencies, including ZACC, the Financial Intelligence Unit, the Police, as well as our school inspectors to ensure compliance with the use of the multi-currency system.

“Any school principal who defies this directive will have disciplinary action taken against him.”

Last year, the government set up nearly 100 rapid response centers across the country for parents to report schools that unilaterally raise tuition fees and reject learners for non-payment of fees, among other malpractices.

More than 250 officials in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have been assigned to deal with cases of alleged misconduct.

These centers have since been revived, Mr. Miki said.

“These command centers have served as a good feedback mechanism to the ministry on matters that concern us as a sector and are still working,” he said.

“In addition to the specific individuals who have been seconded to address the concerns of our stakeholders, our offices, including the head office, remain open to address any matters of concern.

“As a ministry, we are grateful that so many issues have been brought to our attention.

“For this reason, we would like to encourage our stakeholders to contact our offices – whether in the district, district or even head office.

“Necessary action is being taken for all reported cases.”

In a separate interview, the Director-General of the FIU, Mr. Oliver Chibereza, said the agency receives numerous complaints about exchange control violations by school authorities.

“We are receiving more and more complaints against schools. Some of them refuse to accept ZiG altogether, while others accept ZiG but using parallel market prices.

“One school in Masvingo limits ZiG payment to 20 percent of total fees while demanding the other 80 percent in US dollars.

“This is illegal. We are taking action against all schools that have been reported to us.”

He said most of the red-flagged schools “were cooperative and immediately retracted their illegal demands.”

President of the National Association of Secondary School Heads, Mr Arthur Maphosa, said all members had been informed that the new local currency was legal tender.

“As schools, we have not faced any challenges with ZiG and have asked our members to accept it,” he said.

“As an association, we have said that parents and guardians should be given options to pay fees and not be forced to pay exclusively in US dollars.

“However, there will be instances where schools will need to negotiate with parents and guardians to ensure they have foreign currency to purchase goods such as fuel.

“This will be negotiated with the parents, and again no one will be forced to pay fees in foreign currency until these goods are purchased,” he added. Sunday mail

Source link

Previous post GWERU VULNERABLE COUPLE LOSES HOME OVER 2009 LOAN SCAM newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe
Next post NO-ONE WILL STARVE UNDER MY WATCH, SAYS ED newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *