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UCE corruption - $350 - $500 for college place

by Nqobile Tshili
07 Sep 2015 at 05:49hrs | Views
Accommodation facilities at U.C.E
MINISTERS, senior government officials and Zanu-PF members have been fingered in corruption involving the enrolment of student teachers at United College of Education (UCE).

The bigwigs allegedly use their positions to force the institution to enrol their preferred candidates who are made to pay between $350 and $500 to the corrupt officials.

Authorities at UCE were said to be afraid to come out in the open for fear of reprisals, but have since reported the interference to the area MP, retired Colonel Tshinga Dube.

The corruption allegations came out during a Makokoba constituency meeting held on Saturday at Stanley Square where presentations on challenges faced by learning institutions in the area were made.

The presentation followed an assessment involving heads of primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions including UCE.

Presenting the findings at their monthly development meeting on Saturday, the MP's aide Nothiwani Dlodlo said through their meetings with members of the public and UCE officials, they established that the institution was being pressured into recruiting undeserving students.

He said senior government officials, Zanu-PF members and ministers were compromising the institution's integrity by providing the lists of their preferred candidates, forcing UCE to sideline those who qualified on merit.

In an interview yesterday, Rtd Col Dube said the abuse of office by government officials that came out during the meeting must not be tolerated as it deprives deserving candidates of places at colleges such as UCE.

"We've heard of cases where people use their muscle to force enrolment of students at colleges. These students are being sent by very influential people in government, making it difficult for college or school officials to refuse to enrol them. Some of them are sent by ministers and permanent secretaries," said Rtd Col Dube.

He said enrolment at UCE and Hillside Teachers' College must give preference to students from Bulawayo and Matabeleland North.

"Students must be enrolled in their provinces, it doesn't make sense to send student teachers from areas like Harare to come and train here. Where will the children from this province go? Some will say we are becoming discriminatory but locals should be enrolled first," he said.

The MP said the failure by locals to enrol in local training institutions was leading to an exodus of youths to neighbouring countries such as South Africa.

He said to end the unfair enrolment, his office will henceforth be involved in the process.

In his presentation, Dlodlo said some of the officials coming with lists of candidates were asking applicants to pay so that they facilitate their enrolment.

He said the college authorities appealed to Rtd Col Dube to stop the outsiders' interference in the enrolment.

"The college authorities want this problem to be resolved so that proper channels for enrolment are followed. These channels include going through the area MP after getting confirmation from Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister," said Dlodlo.

He said prospective students were each paying between $350 and $500 to the corrupt officials.

Source - chronicle
More on: #UCE, #Corruption