Pamela Shumba Bulawayo Bureau
THE Government will this month start levying school suppliers in a bid to raise funds for developing infrastructure in schools, Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora has said.
The move comes at a time when the country is set to adopt a new school curriculum.
Minister Dokora said there are over 1 600 service providers working with schools and all will be levied to help the Government raise money to build new schools.
“Various services providers supply schools with stationery, computers, sports equipment, science and technological equipment among other equipment. At the moment they aren’t paying anything to the ministry. They just come to the schools get their money and walk away,” said Minister Dokora, while addressing delegates during a cocktail at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF).
“When we ask them in a token way to finance some things in the ministry or towards the trade fair, it’s as if we’re borrowing from them. At the last count two years ago we had over 1 600 organisations doing business with schools and I have said I want to introduce a levy for those organisations.”
The minister said a register would be prepared annually to establish companies that would be dealing with schools.
He said the introduction of the levy was long overdue and he did not expect any organisation to cry foul.
“No one should cry foul when we say we need to levy all those who do business with our schools. That has to be soon, probably before the end of May. My colleagues in Cabinet have been asking me questions on the other avenues in terms of revenue inflows. They gave me authority to start infrastructure development,” said Minister Dokora.
He said service providers who were not interested in paying the levy risked losing business with schools.
“If you pass the cost to the schools it means your product will be more expensive and then we’ll help the schools avoid your expensive tools. Other ministries are getting full support from their stakeholders. Why should I have to beg to get T-shirts? It’s as if I asked for something big,” said Minister Dokora.