Magunje – Computers donated by former president Robert Mugabe in early 2000 are now obsolete forcing rural schools that benefited from the handouts to buy refurbished machinery.
Former president Mugabe launched the computerisation program and donated computers at selected schools around the country.
He targeted mainly rural schools during the project.
Magunje High school located in Ward 10 in Hurungwe district is one of those schools that got computers from Mugabe.
It is situated 36 kilometres west of Karoi town near Magunje growth point.
Speaking during the Prize and Speech Day held on Friday, headmaster Moses Namaona said although the school had benefited from the computer donation, the machinery is not working at the school.
“As Magunje High Secondary School, we were fortunate to get computers from (former) president Mugabe. Unfortunately, they are no longer working. We have them stuck in the storeroom here.
“We cannot dispose them for accountability purposes. We were forced to look for alternative and had to buy second hand and refurbished ten computers valued around $180.00 each.
“We want our students to be computer literate and use internet to access for research like those in towns and other places,” he told parents and former students who graced the occasion here.”
Magunje High school is among several schools in Hurungwe as well as Mola in Kariba rural, Makonde, Kadoma districts within the province that got computers.
During the time that the machines were donated, most of the schools had no electricity and had to use solar panels installed for the computerisation project.
However some sources at different schools confirmed that Mugabe donated computers that were old models.
“Not all machines are not working (sic) at our school, as we have managed to repair some. They are old version,” said one of our sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
Another teacher in Kadoma district confirmed that the computers are now obsolete.
“It is true that some of these computers are not working. They are obsolete and we are no longer using them,” said our source.
Mashonaland West acting provincial director Richard Mhumha was said to be out of office for official comment but sources confirmed receiving reports of computers not working.
“This was (former) president Mugabe gesture and is not bound to have them repaired. We hope parents must now understand why it is vital to buy personal computers for their children. Schools can buy these as part of school property,” said an official.
He added that officially, nothing can be thrown out without approval.
“Audits are done annually and school headmasters have to account for everything including donated computers,” added our source.
School Development Committee chairperson Patrick Chinodakufa said it was disheartening that parents were not paying school fees for their children making operations tough without financial support.
“The school is being owed a lot of money and we need around $20 000 for progress around the school. The buildings need a facelift and we appeal for assistance,” said Chinodakufa.
Former student and guest of honour Moses Chundu a University of Zimbabwe economics lecturer challenged students to study mathematics and science as the world is fast changing.
“We must impart science knowledge as technology is now part of global village,” said Chundu.
He later launched Chundu Maths Award covering best students from Form One to Six.
“The best students will get sponsorship and prize money. We must motivate them to do better,” said Chundu.