OVER 500 teachers used fake documents to gain employment in the public service between 2017 and 2021 and got paid over K26 million.
A review of the minutes for the Ministry of Education appointments, promotions and disciplinary committee held in 2018 revealed that in 2017, the Teaching Council of Zambia (TCZ), in conjunction with the Examinationa Council of Zambia (ECZ) undertook a verification exercise and established that 501 practitioners used fake school certificates to gain employment in the public service.
According to the audit of Government payroll for the Financial years between December 2017 and 2021 by the Auditor General, the Ministry of Education delayed taking actions on 243 officers found in possession of fake certificates.
“This resulted in the officers who were not rendering services being paid salaries amounting to K26, 136, 077 as at September 30, 2021,” the document reads in part.
And a comparison of the payroll and staff returns for the Ministry of Education for 2021 revealed that 13, 620 officers in 108 districts were on the payroll but not on the staff returns.
As at December 31, 2021, the officers had been paid salaries totaling K881,070,149.
Further, a physical test check of 11,530 officers in 60 districts carried out in June 2022 revealed that 1,843 officers who were paid K115,265,668 in salaries were not accounted for because the Ministry did not know the officers and neither was it aware of their whereabouts.
A reconciliation of the payroll and staff returns for the Ministry of Education for 2021 revealed that 94,129 officers in 110 districts drew salaries amounting to K7,071,145,105 from pay points that were different from their physical stations.
“However, a sample headcount of 61,056 officers in 60 districts carried out in June 2022 revealed that 1,653 officers who were paid salaries totaling K93, 092,550 were accounted for in the areas they were purported to be misplaced,” the report reads.
However, responsibility allowances of K4,275,090 were irregularly paid to 481 teachers who did not qualify to receive the payments.
As at July 31, 2022, K50,224 had been recovered, leaving a balance of K4,224,866.
The report also revealed that K11,347,756 was paid as rural hardship allowances to 1,241 officers who were not eligible to receive the money.
As at July 31, 2022, K1,526,365 had been recovered leaving balance of K9,821,391.
On remote allowances, K5,716,938 was paid to 542 workers not eligible to receive the money because their work stations were not designated for payment of such.
As of May 2022, K972,191 had been recovered, leaving a balance of K4,972,456.