THE Ministry of Education, Science, Vocational Training and Early Education has unearthed a scam in which people masquerading as human resource officers have been collecting recruitment fees of K3,500 and K4,500 from unemployed teachers on the pretext of facilitating their employment.
Ministry of Education spokesperson Hillary Chipango said in an interview yesterday that between 50 to 70 teachers have so far been swindled out of over K280,000 and those affected have reported the matter to the ministry.
Mr Chipango said the suspects have been charging K3,500 for prospective teachers below 40 years old and K4,500 for those above 40.
“These people are masquerading as our recruitment officers and swindling unsuspecting people out of a lot of money,” Mr Chipango said.
He said Government recently announced that it would soon recruit 5,000 teachers countrywide and the suspects have taken advantage of this pronouncement.
Mr Chipango said the matter has been reported to the police and it is currently under investigation.
“We suspect that there are many other people who have been swindled and we would like them to come and report the matter and help us with investigations,” Mr Chipango said.
He said the ministry suspects that there is a cartel which is behind this scandal targeting unemployed teachers.
Mr Chipango said the crooks are taking advantage of the teachers’ desperation for jobs.
“As a ministry, we do not charge for any recruitment exercise we undertake and if anyone finds themselves in such a situation, they should not hesitate to inform the ministry or the police,” he said.
He said it is not fair for people to take advantage of desperate people who are in need of help.