Jonathan Moyo challenges Murwira to produce STEM audit report


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Exiled former Higher Education Minister Jonathan Moyo has challenged current minister Amon Murwira to produce the forensic audit report which he claims unearthed “rampant corruption” in the A-Level STEM scholarships.

Murwira told Parliament yesterday that the A-Level STEM scholarship programme was terminated this year because there was misuse of money.

He also said his ministry catered for students in colleges and tertiary institutions.

Murwira had been asked by Kwekwe Central legislator Masango Matambanadzo whether scholarships that had been introduced for STEM students would be reintroduced.

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and mathematics.

It was introduced by Moyo to promote those subjects at the country’s colleges of higher learning.

Murwira said STEM was not terminated but the ministry was no longer giving scholarships to students doing A-Level.

“Our Ministry oversees higher and tertiary education and it also looks at polytechnic colleges and universities,” Murwira said.

“Scholarships that were being offered to ‘A’ Level students were discontinued in term 3 in 2018. There was misuse of the funds in the name of STEM scholarships. Therefore, we have since stopped it.

“The money was being misused; it was used to pay private institutions and because of that issue, we are saying that we continuously urge the studying of science, technology, engineering and mathematics using other means but not through giving scholarships to ‘A’ Level students.

“At university level, we have the intention of securing loans to give to students so that they can pursue their education.  We will also secure loans on their behalf.

“Currently, we have secured a lot of money; $50 million was set aside by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and $10 million was set aside in South Africa.”

Murwira said right now there were projects under STEM that included the manufacturing of fertiliser and or using coal and the issue of extracting oil through coal.

He said he could not give details about the misuse of money because some people were already before the courts so the matter was sub-judice.

Moyo said Murwira was lying. The A-Level scholarship programme was approved by the cabinet in 2016 as a 10-year programme but President Emmerson Mnangagwa who was Vice-President at the time was against it.

Moyo challenged Members of Parliament to demand that Murwira produce the forensic audit report which shows the abuse of funds in the scholarship programme.

 

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The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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