Government says it has instituted an investigation into how government money was used to construct a classroom block in Zomba which collapsed and killed four learners instantly.
Education minister Bright Msaka said this Wednesday at the funeral of the one of the learners crashed to death.
“We are told that government money was used to construct this class structure without due regard to the rules and regulations. We will take action so that this tragedy should not happen again,” said Msaka.
The victims were two girls; namely, Tisunge Francisco, aged 12 years, Jennifer Bonongwe, 11; and two boys, Gift Mwanyada, 10 and Madalitso Nayuma, 10.
Msaka was told at the funeral that the school committee used the school improvement grant to construct the two class room burnt brick building with only mud without cement as speculation is rife that the head teacher and the school committee abused the grant.
He said his ministry would institute investigations to understand the situation further.
The burial ceremony of the young students took place on Wednesday chief Ngwelero’s in Zomba. Atleast 50 learners were injured.
It was during the first period in the morning when tragedy struck.
The block, which used to be Standard 3B, was constructed by the school committee to supplement the shortage of classes at the school, which has 930 pupils.
Standard 3B and Standard 3A housed 116 pupils each.
Speaking on behalf of the four families, Lucius Namanya expressed shock at the untimely deaths.
He said: “This is a big loss to us. This is untimely. We are so saddened by this and we cannot say much. However, we believe this will instil fear in fellow pupils. Some of these structures have to be considered. Some are life threatening as you can see.”
Dowa east MP Richard Chimwendo Banda old parlianent on Wednesday that the government should divert the K5 billion in the budget set aside for the planting of trees by the youth to the construction of school blocks. He said most of learners across the country are sitting on time bomb as their classroom buildings can collapse any time.
Meanwhile, on Thursday Msaka visited and cheered the 15 learners who were admitted to Zomba Central Hospital and expressed satisfaction with the support the hospital was giving to the patients.
He also assured the children that they would all recover soon and go back to school to continue with their education.
The Minister said President Peter Mutharika assigned him to visit the injured learners and cheer them up as one way of wishing them a quick and full recovery.
“The President was very shocked when he heard that the school experienced this tragic incident yesterday (Wednesday) where a classroom wall collapsed and killed four learners on the spot,” Msaka said.
After visiting the patients, Msaka donated K10, 000 to the parent of each learner who is admitted to the referral facility. He also donated plastic buckets, soap, salt and sweets to the injured children.
One of the parents to the learners, Esther Mitimbe who hails from Sulumba Village in the area of Sub Traditional Authority Ngwelero thanked government through the minister for visiting them in hospital after hearing of the accident.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :