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Church cleared in missing school funds saga

A standoff between the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe and the Matjinge community in Plumtree over the running of Matjinge High School has come to an end after it was discovered that one of the employees was embezzling funds.

Parents with children at the school were up in arms with the church and called for the abolition of the office of the principal accusing the incumbent of running down the school.

The parents went to the extent of petitioning the government and school authorities for alleged financial misappropriation of school funds among other issues.

Parents were also demanding that the school be handed over to the local council and School Development Committee (SDC)

Last year, the parents had a tense meeting with representatives from the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and Methodist church Bulawayo District Bishop where the church authorities vowed that they were not misappropriating funds.

However, it has since emerged that the person responsible for the misappropriation of funds was actually from the community who was employed as an accounts clerk.

Sources who spoke to CITE said the clerk was issuing wrong receipts.

“She would issue the correct receipts to the parent for example if someone paid R360 she would go on to write R60 on the duplicate receipt,” said the source.

The matter was reported to the police and the clerk was dismissed from the school.

Contacted for a comment, Methodist Church Education Secretary, Bishop Wilfred Dimingu said as a church they are happy that their name has been cleared.

“It’s an account clerk who resides in the community, she stayed in the community and was engaged by the primary school to work as an account clerk, it was the issue of embezzlement of funds by the employee,” said Bishop Dimingu.

“As a church, we are happy that we managed to resolve misunderstandings that were there, everything is now in order, the parents understood how things are done, the ministry explained to them and everything is in order now”.

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