In two separate incidents, police in Mangochi District have arrested two individuals on charges of fraudulently obtaining Primary School Leaving Certificate Examination (PSLCE) fees from Standard 8 pupils in their respective schools.
Mangochi police station spokesperson Amina Tepani Daudi has identified the two as Timothy Maputu, a 51-year-old former Director of Sunrise Private Primary School and Paul Kumwenda, a 44-year-old Headteacher at Fatima Private Primary School within Mangochi township.
According to Daudi, it is alleged that, Maputu collected a total of K250,000 from 30 candidates during December 2022, but later sold the school to another individual in January 2023 due to financial difficulties. Similarly, Kumwenda collected K120,000 in examination fees from 22 candidates.
“On May 9, 2023 the directors of both schools discovered that the suspects had failed to remit the collected funds to the Malawi National Examination Board (MANEB). This realization came to light when they contacted the board to request examination identity cards and numbers for their candidates,” Daudi says.
She adds :”Both matters were reported to Mangochi Police Station, who promptly apprehended the suspects. During interrogation, the accused individuals admitted to diverting the funds for personal use.”
Daudi says the affected students from the aforementioned schools will not be able to sit for this year’s PSLCE and Maneb has cited the lateness of the discovery as the reason for being unable to address the issue.
Both Maputu and Kumwenda will face charges of theft, which contravenes section 278 of the Penal Code and are expected to appear before court soon.
Maputu hails from Mpinganjira Village, Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi, while Kumwenda comes from Walutunda Village, Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi District.