Wednesday, December 1, 2021
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Chiredzi School abandons multi-million dollar project midway

Beatific Gumbwanda

Chiredzi government school has allegedly abandoned the construction of a multi-million dollar double-storey classroom block initially aimed at decongesting classes as the school was losing its standards because of high teacher to pupil ratio which affected its pass rate.

The project was put on halt but parents continue to pay building fund towards the project that saw the hiking of fees when pupils resumed classes this year from the Covid-19 induced lockdown.

The new School Development Committee (SDC) chaired by Artwell Muzvarwandonga seems to have abandoned the project initiated by their predecessors in 2020.

Close sources said the contractor, Chlosteel Construction, popularly known as Chikozho had made estimations that it will take less than seven months to complete construction of the classroom block whose construction began at no cost.

The school was supposed to pay the contractor on termly basis, which led the school to introduce the building fund in May this year to raise funds for the construction but nothing was paid to the contractor.

Chiredzi District Schools Inspector, Petronella Nyangwe, said there was need to find out the reasons why construction was stopped when parents are paying.

“Thanks for bringing up this issue. Yes, we need to check to get accurate information. We will do that. We know there were Covid-19 related delays and also that the company lost its director but we should find out reasons for the continued delays,” said Nyangwe.

The new substantive school head Super Saiti said he could not comment on the matter for he had been at the school for only four months saying he was yet to get conversant with the on goings at the school.

“I am still very new at this station and still have to learn a lot, so I do not think I can give you any comment,” said Saiti.

SDC chairperson Muzvarwandoga just laughed and said he could not comment about the issue.

“I am not in a position to discuss this at the present moment but be assured that we are in the process to continue with the project as soon as possible,” said Muzvarwandoga.

Other sources said since commencement of construction of the block in 2020, the school had not even paid a single cent to the contractor.

Before the death of its Director, Simbarashe Chikozho in February this year, he was negotiating with the school to pay something in order for the company to buy some materials including planks required for the construction of a deck.

Chlosteel Construction Manager, Raphael Mhungu refused to comment and referred all questions to the school administration.

“I think the school can better explain the reasons why construction was halted,” said Mhungu

Meanwhile, the school is accused of prioritizing on repairing the school bus at the cost of RTGS$700 000.00.which is often used to ferry political party supporters to rallies for free.

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