By PETER MALASHA
ABOUT 24 by 50kg bags of maize and 40 litres of cooking oil under Mkushi’s Chumwe Primary School feeding programme have reportedly gone missing in a scam involving a teacher in Nkumbi Ward.
Parents Teachers Association (PTA) chairman Goliath Sikamikami who confirmed the development in an interview, said on August 24, a community member spotted bags of maize being ferried from a school storeroom to a teacher’s house.
Mr Sikamikami said the district education office was alerted about the matter and promised to investigate and that a comprehensive report would be issued before the school closed last term but this did not happen.
Mr Sikamikami also accused the school management of diverting one 50kg bag of beans and that this resulted in pupils going without food for three weeks last term.
And Nkumbi ward councillor Lewis Mayuya claimed there were some flaws in the school feeding programme.
Mr Muyuya said the school administration decided to sell 15x50kgs bags of maize to a named teacher at the school to raise money for construction of a toilet and feeding shelter.
Mr Mayuya added that the DEBS office was also paid in kind with 20 x 50Kg bags of maize and 40 litres of cooking oil.
“Actually there were some flaws in the manner they handled the food meant for school, the feeding programme. Government initiated the feeding programme to promote education for all,” Mr Mayuya said.
But Mkushi District Education Board Secretary (DEBS) Felistus Kalembo when contacted, said she was in a meeting and asked to be contacted through a text message. This was done but she never responded to the queries.
She could also not pick up calls but responded when called on the different number but said she could not respond to the text message.
“I have seen your text but l cannot respond,” Ms Kalembo said and cut the line. Speaking in separate interview, Mkushi District Commissioner Luka Mwamba also admitted receiving the report but said he had left the matter in the hands of the DEBS and police.
“I can confirm receiving the report, but have left the matter into the hands of DEBS and police to investigate,” Mr Mwamba said.
Zambia National Union of Teachers (ZNUT) Mkushi district chairman Victor Kaoma when contacted expressed ignorance about the matter.