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Manicaland schools Face Crackdown for Rejecting ZiG


Sharon Chigeza

MUTARE – The government is cracking down on schools refusing to accept the recently introduced local currency, the Zimbabwe Gold (ZiG), for payment of school fees.

This comes after reports emerged of some schools, particularly private institutions, demanding payment exclusively in United States dollars or rejecting the ZiG at unfavourable exchange rates.
The Ministry of Education has declared such practices illegal.

Acting Manicaland Education Director, Richard Gabaza emphasised that the ZiG is legal tender and must be accepted by all schools for fee payments.

“Parents and guardians are encouraged to report any schools violating this regulation to their district school inspectors. Failure to reach a consensus, they are also free to bring their reports to our offices for further investigations.

“It remains that the ZiG is legal tender and shall not be rejected by any school as this is in violation of the law. This is a stable currency that is backed by our gold reserves and shall not pose any challenges with regards to its stability,” he said.

Director of Communications and Advocacy in the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, Taungana Ndoro said parents were free to pay schools fees in the currency of their choice and discouraged schools from rejecting those willing to pay in ZiG.

“It is essential to note that no school should compel parents to pay fees or levies exclusively in foreign currency as Zimbabwe operates under a multi-currency system. Parents have the freedom to pay in a currency of their choice.

“In cases where fees are pegged in foreign currency for value preservation purposes, parents can make their payments in the local currency at the prevailing interbank rate of the day of the transaction.

This ensures that the fees are appropriately converted into any currency equivalent. The Ministry emphasises compliance with this policy to ensure fairness and flexibility with regards to fees payments,” said Ndoro.

This move follows concerns raised by parents who struggle to afford school fees in foreign currency, especially with the ongoing economic challenges.

The government introduced the ZiG to curb inflation and stabilise the economy, and expects all institutions to comply with its use.

However, some schools argue that they require foreign currency to buy essential supplies and pay staff salaries.

While the new ZiG currency has been widely accepted in supermarkets and wholesalers, schools have remained sceptical in their approach in accepting fees and levies in the new currency.

Most schools in Manicaland were turning away parents wishing to pay fees in ZiG currency under the pretext that they were still synchronising their systems and Point of Sale gadgets with the new ZiG currency.

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