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    Friday, 8 February 2019

    GZU students in $100 000 Medical Aid scam

     Micheal Taderera

    TATENDA CHIZU

    MASVINGO –
    Twenty-one students from GZU have been charged and are waiting to appear before a disciplinary hearing after they allegedly demanded $50 000 extortion from a company that had won a tender to provide medical aid to University students.
    One of the senior members of the executive is further accused of going back to the medical aid on his own and demanded $100 000 bribe to facilitate for a new five-year contract to the same company.
    All the 21 students are executive members of the Students’ Union and they allegedly demanded bribe money from Eternal Peace Health Company. After many arm twisting tactics and threats Eternal Peace Health eventually paid $15 000 to the account of one of the students’ relatives.
    The matter came to light when Michael Taderera reported the other students to the University excluding himself which forced the university to investigate. The students are charged for contravening the GZU Act as read with Ordinance No 2 and each of them faces six counts.
    GZU spokesperson, Andersen Chipatiso said, “ We can confirm that the University received reports of alleged cases of serious impropriety on the part of some members of the Student Representative Council.  The allegations are now the subject of disciplinary processes instituted in terms of Section 27 of the Great Zimbabwe University Act (Chapter 25:24) and Rules of Great Zimbabwe University Student Conduct and Discipline Ordinance, 2004 Ordinance No. 2.  In a nutshell, the allegations arose from incidences where some members of the Student Representative Council are alleged to have demanded and received kickbacks from companies for them to push and influence for the said companies to be awarded the right to offer services to the University. You will agree with us that such allegations, if true, are quite disturbing given that corruption, is ascancerous and destructive to society as it is, is creeping and finding its way into our University students. However, in line with our thrust to preserve and advance ‘Unhu/Ubuntu’, we shall endeavour to root out any form of corruption from amongst our students in order to prepare them to be honest, hardworking graduates who will contribute positively to the modernisation and industrialisation of our economy by 2030.As a university, we fully subscribe to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Dr. E.D. Mnangagwa’s stance on corruption where he observed that corruption remains the major source of some of the problems we face as a country and its retarding impact on national development cannot be overemphasized”.
    According to a memorandum from the GZU Senior Proctor’s office dated December 6, 2018 to the 21 students; they are all facing six charges each connected to the alleged extortion.
    “All the named students are each charged with contravening the GZU Act as read with Ordinance No 2 of GZU. Each of the students named is alleged to have the provisions stated herein;” reads part of the memo.
    On count 1, the students are alleged to have mandated Michael Taderera a losing parliamentary candidate for Masvingo urban constituency who identified himself as president of the Students Union to demand $50 000.
    Taderera said allegations are false when asked for a comment by The Mirror.
    In the same year in 2017 and on count 2 Taderera and five other members of the Union are said to have demanded bribe money from any other medical aid that expressed an interest in providing medical aid services to students at the University. The students are also said to have brought Eternal Peace Health to a local hotel in Masvingo for a meeting and demanded that  Eternal Peace Health pay costs.
    On count 4 Taderera is alleged to have called Eternal Peace Health and demanded commission and threatened to organise a demostration by the students against the company and bad publicity. On count 5; some 14 students who were drunk went and caused mayhem at the Eternal Peace Health offices in Harare.
    Pushed into a corner Eternal Peace Health paid $15 000 into the account of one of the relatives of the students and the amount is said to have been shared equally with each member getting $600. This offence constituted count 6.
    Gesham Mutero of Eternal Peace Health said he was forced to pay the $15 000 after threats of a demostration and bad publicity. He said he however, could not absorb the pressure anymore when in 2018 Michael Taderera demanded $100 000 so that he could facilitate for a fresh 20-year contract.
    It is then that Mutero  reported the matter to the University authorities.
    The names of the students implicated in the case are Micheal Taderera level 2.2, Politics and Public Administration, Davis Mutazu Early Childhood and Development level 3.2, Jenniffer Chitanda level 3.1 Early Childhood and Development, Blessed Chuma Media and Cultural Studies level 4.1, Ruziwo Shumbamhini  Industrial Relations level 4.1, Tasangana Muwandi level 3.2 Geography and History, Tawanda Mukwazhe level 4.1 Development studies, Sandisiwe Nyama level 3.1 Banking and Finance, Lenon Mbizi level 3.2 Industrial Relations, Primrose Moyo level 3.2 Human Resource Management, Arthur Gwiza level 3.2 Psychology, Duncan Mpaso Industrial Relations, Tafadzwa Majoni level 3.2 Business Studies and Arts Design, Lewis Shumbanhete level 3.2 Information Systems, Naome Tembo level 3.2 Local Governance Studies, Fortunate Paradza level 3;2 Early Childhood Development, Absolom N Murondoti level 3.2 Sociology, Tinomutenda Maungaza Urban Planning and Development Studies level 3.2, Charles Rotara, Takudzwa Ruziwe level 3.2 Sociology and B. Mushekwa Risk Management and Insurance.
    The hearing was done on February 2 and Maungaza, Mpaso, Shumbanhete and Paradza were charged with one year suspension after they pleaded guilty whilst the rest will come back for hearing on 21 to 23 February 2019
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