Lupane State University (LSU) has been sucked into a recruitment scandal after the institution’s management allegedly fraudulently employed the Vice Chancellor’s daughter as a full-time lecturer.
According to documents seen by CITE, Florence Kuipa, daughter to VC Professor Pardon Kuipa, was offered a post as a lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Finance, Faculty of Commerce on June 3, 2020.
A source who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity said the post was first advertised internally and Florence Kuipa, who was not part of the university staff and illegible for the job, sent in her application.
“The post was initially advertised internally and Kuipa applied yet she was not even employed at the institution. Her application was thrown out. It was then that another advertisement was flighted for external applicants,” the source said.
“10 applications were obtained. Out of the 10, only four were shortlisted and Kuipa’s application was considered as the fifth. The faculty threw out all the four which had been chosen by the Department without explanation and remained with the VC’s daughter. What is astonishing is the fact that the Human Resources department had been briefed to prepare a contract for her even before the interviews were conducted.”
The source said Kuipa, who holds a Masters degree but has no teaching experience, was offered the post ahead of PhD holders with vast teaching experience.
“Such conduct is against corporate governance. The fact that she is a daughter to the VC makes it even worse. This is against Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education (ZIMCHE) policy. The institution has Teaching Assistants who could have filled the post but were not even considered. She was interviewed mid-morning on Wednesday and on Thursday (4/06/2020) at 8 AM she was already being introduced to members of the staff.”
Minutes of a meeting held by the institution on February 7 stated that Prof Kuipa-who was supposed to chair the meeting-declared a conflict of interest on the meeting’s agenda and recused himself, requesting the acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor Dr T. Dube to chair the meeting.
It was during this meeting that a decision was made that Kuipa’s application, although she was not part of the internal staff, would be retained and considered together with the new ones.
According to the minutes, eight out of the ten applications, who were all holders of Masters degrees and some with teaching experience were not shortlisted because they had irrelevant undergraduate programmes. One out of the ten applicants did not have the required Masters degree.
“The Board noted that advertising internally and, on the website, had limited the scope of the coverage for the advertisement. The Board resolved that the post be readvertised. The Board resolved that given the urgency of filling in the post the advert would run for one week. The only applicant who had applied would be retained and considered with the new applicants,” read the minutes.
Efforts to get a comment from the university’s registrar Jairos Makunde were fruitless as his mobile phone was not going through.