The former top operations manager at the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (Zimche), Florence Chimbunu, who was exposed recently for using allegedly fake certificates when only a single O-Level pass could be certified, lived large, enjoying luxurious perks at the country’s quality regulator of degree and diploma programmes.

After landing the top managerial post in January this year, Chimbunu enjoyed the luxury of a private security guard, an all-terrain Toyota Hilux double cab vehicle, school fees and international holiday allowances.

This lifestyle was cut short after Zimche discovered she was using allegedly fake academic and tertiary qualifications.

Chimbunu’s contract of employment shows that she was entitled to a five-day international holiday and daily allowance for two people annually, payment of school fees for three children, 340 litres of fuel monthly, a landline telephone and wi-fi allowance, professional association allowance and dressing allowance. Zimche would also pay tertiary fees for Chimbunu, her spouse and three children.

She was also entitled to a domestic worker’s allowance and a monthly retention allowance, entertainment allowance, medical aid cover for spouse and four dependants, cellphone and housing allowances.

Chimbunu has been enjoying the benefits for the first nine months of 2020 after her promotion in January to a top manager, having originally started as a receptionist.

She reportedly produced fake certificates indicating she had five O-Level passes plus tertiary qualifications.

She ran out of luck when a human resource audit checked up.

The embarrassed education quality regulator and Chimbunu have now parted company, although it is unknown if she resigned or was fired.

This was after Zimche found via the Zimbabwe School Examinations Council and the Higher Examination Council that she had submitted fake qualifications.

She was caught after a Zimche internal audit, a check normally done by human resources officers before one is hired. Chimbunu has since been arrested for fraud and forgery and she now awaits trial.

She was promoted under a restructuring initiated by the new chief executive, Professor Kuzvinetsa Dzvimbo.

The recent restructuring saw the recruitment of 11 new managers, creating a management-rich organisation.

The new positions included two chief directors, directors of finance, audit, administration, information and communications technology (ICT) and chief operations officer, the post held by Chimbunu, among other positions, in addition to the other managers already in employ.

The new appointees assumed duty on January 6, 2020, after being selected in interviews conducted in November last year.


-The Herald