Lupane State University (LSU) allegedly recruited over 15 lecturers for a ‘non-existent’ Engineering faculty and have been drawing a monthly salary for a year, a development that has set tongues wagging at the institution, CITE can reveal.
Sources claimed the lecturers were hired by the Registrar and were included on the university’s payroll – receiving ZWL$10 000 per month.
Some of the lecturers are said to have resigned after complaining that they were tired of being idle at a time when other departments are short-staffed.
However, LSU management refuted the claims arguing that the recruitment was above board and necessary in order to set up the new department.
In an interview with CITE, LSU director of Marketing And Public Relations, Zwelithini Dlamini, confirmed that the recruitment had indeed taken place but the personnel was core staff hired to do the groundwork before the engineering faculty was set up.
“I can confirm that core staff was recruited for the Faculty of Engineering under the Department of Applied Sciences. Core meaning very key personnel who were supposed to design and develop programmes plus the syllabus for the curriculum. This staff was also supposed set regulations for the programme,” he said.
Dlamini noted that the first batch of lecturers was hired in December 2018 while the rest came in January this year.
“Yes, they had been receiving a salary by the time they started their work. I was advised some of the team members have been teaching at the Faculty of Irrigation Engineering under the Department of Agricultural Sciences,” as he explained that some of the personnel had already been lecturing at the university.
“Engineering requires pieces of equipment that have to be put in place and these core lecturers were to set up some of these.”
Dlamini noted that under the Zimbabwe Council for Higher Education (ZIMCHE), it was a requirement to first set up a faculty before learning commenced.
“These are requirements of ZIMCHE that core staff should be on the ground before teaching starts. However, I cannot confirm the numbers of how many they are,” Dlamini said.
Sources at the university claimed ZIMCHE did not approve of the faculty because the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development wanted LSU to have proper lab first.
“Besides what the registrar did is against the norms of establishing a faculty. The university must start with a department, with one full-time person, then continue to out-source other lecturers so that if the programme is not viable, these lecturers are re-assigned.
“But the Registrar started recruiting over 15, more than half have resigned saying they are tired of not doing anything. The Faculty does not have any single programme that was approved. There are no students but lecturers are being paid. So state resources are going to waste paying those lecturers,” said the source.