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Fees Payment Worries Parents as Zimbabwe Schools Open

  • Tatenda Gumbo
  • Gibbs Dube
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Schools opened for the second term Tuesday with some parents still unable to send their children back to class after failing to raise fees.

Many now fear their children may eventually be turned away from classes. The government recently warned schools against barring children from class for failing to pay fees.

It also warned schools not to raise fees and levies as some parents complained they were struggling to raise school fees.

Studio 7 received mixed reports from parents on the ground with some reporting their children were being turned away for not paying fees. But the majority of parents said their children were allowed to attend classes even after failing to pay fees.

Parents are unsure what will happen as the week progresses.

Chris Makwenda, a father of two school-going children, said he is struggling to raise money to pay fees for his children.

Ambrose Sibindi of the Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association said parents can approach his association to seek legal assistance on children being sent home by school authorities.

Meanwhile, the Apex Council said it was worried by the government’s delay to disburse membership subscriptions deducted automatically by the Salary Services Bureau from civil servants’ salaries.

The money deducted should be forwarded to various civil servants’ unions and associations but Apex Council chairman Richard Gundani said the government has been failing to deliver.

No explanation has been offered to the unions. As a result, the unions said they are failing to pay rentals and their workers on time, among other things.

Gundani said the unions will meet Friday to discuss the issue and map the way forward.

Progressive Teachers’ Union of Zimbabwe secretary general Raymond Majongwe said his union Monday tried to engage the government over the issue and were told that the government was struggling to raise funds.

At the same time, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development has changed the May 2014 pay dates.

The report said the pay day in the education sector has been moved from the 15th to the 16th of this month with that of the rest of the civil service being moved from the 22nd to the 29th of this month.

Pensioners were not spared either as their pay day has also been moved from the 28th to the 30th of May.
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