Makumimavi Primary School in Chikomba, Mashonaland East, is one of 17 schools built by government using a US$20m OPEC International Development Fund loan. Source: 2021 Zimbabwe Infrastructure Investment Programme, Ministry of Finance and Economic Development
CLAIM: 153 schools have been built under the Mnangagwa administration, which took over power in November 2017.
Source: The Herald
VERDICT: False. All available official evidence points to far less schools being constructed under Zimbabwe’s new administration.
In an article headlined “More boarding schools on cards” published on 24 March 2021, The Herald claims that:
“Under the new dispensation, 153 schools have been built and plans are afoot to build 16 more this year.”
The article does not cite any source for its claim. So we checked.
Starting in 2018, the Mnangagwa government has published an annual report on publicly funded infrastructure projects, including schools.
For 2018, the government did not report any new schools that had been built. Instead, it highlighted the Mutare High Court building, the Kariba South plant expansion project, upgrading and resealing of 512km of the road network, 48 bridges, the CID Headquarters in Harare, Nyanga district registry office and the Midlands State University innovation hub as projects completed during that year.
In 2019, the government reported advanced progress on the construction of 17 schools – 11 primary and 6 secondary – funded through a US$20 million secured from the OPEC Fund for International Development.
Under the project, the government has built the 17 schools in 15 districts spread across all the country’s 8 rural provinces.
The construction of these 17 schools was completed in 2020. No other schools were reported to have been built by the government between 2018 and 2020.
This year, the government plans to build 4 primary schools at a cost of Z$270 million, according to the 2021 infrastructure plan.
The Herald’s claim that 153 schools have been built under the Mnangagwa administration is not supported by any available data, including the government’s own. We rate it as false.