The Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (PTUZ) recently enlisted the help of police to confiscate the books, which were donated by UNICEF for the country’s Education Transition Fund (ETF).
The books were being sold for between US$7 and US$10 each, but they were meant to be for the use of primary and secondary schools in the country.
The Ministry of Education said in a statement this week that it had transported the textbooks to the schools with the help of UNICEF, with each school receiving steel cabinets to guard against theft. The Ministry said that any sale of text books by street vendors is at a ‘small scale’ and the purchases are confined to a small number of non-registered or informal schools.
"Transporters were only paid once confirmation of receipt of the delivery of all books was provided by each school principal. There is therefore no possibility of books being diverted prior to delivery to the school," said the statement signed by Minister David Coltart.
The statement added: "Upon receipt, all school authorities were instructed to ensure appropriate stamping and identification of the books as a measure to keep the books protected from sales."
An investigation will now try and uncover how the books made it on to the streets.
“The Ministry of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture is launching an investigation to establish the veracity of these reports and the magnitude of any problem found. Anyone found selling or facilitating the sale of ETF textbooks will be prosecuted for theft because all textbooks are Government property and are not for sale. In addition, any teacher found to be charging money for the books or hindering free access to the books by students will also be prosecuted and face severe disciplinary proceeding,” the statement read.
Coltart was unavailable for comment on Wednesday. – SW Radio Africa NewsPost published in: News