Addressing reporters yesterday in Dar es Salaam, the Minister for Education, Science, Technology and Vocational Training, Prof Joyce Ndalichako, disclosed that along with the refund legal measures would be taken against all who would be identified to have engaged in the scam.
She emphasised on all institutions to ensure that the disbursed funds were refunded in the mentioned period of time.
“We will not spare anyone... with this we are prepared enough to fight against the behaviour which has made the government to lose billions of shillings every year,” she said.The ministry’s boss disclosed that 3.8bn/- was lost in just one year and wondered how much may have been lost in the previous years.
According to her, after it was recognised that some things were not going well in loan payments, the government embarked on a countrywide verification exercise to identify the real number of students who benefitted from its loans.
She said that from the exercise it was uncovered that a total of 2,192 students from various higher leaning institutions were fraudulently receiving loans from the Higher Education Student’s Loans Board (HESLB) who were not discovered during the verification exercise.
“After we uncovered the fraudulent environment in the education sector in the country, a team of experts and investigators was made to inspect and audit the issue... it has worked for two months to complete the exercise in 31 institutions in the country,” she said, adding that the exercise would continue in 50 other institutions.
She said that during the exercise experts found out that there were some students who had completed studies in the past two years but were still benefiting from the fund. She added that others were dead while others had been discontinued from studies.
In the report, a total of 350 people said to be ghost students who were pocketing 703.4m/- in government funds were uncovered in the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) and 364 in the University of Dodoma (UDOM) pocketed 460.9m/-.
Others with the amount shown in brackets were 200 students from St. Joseph University in Tanzania (SJUIT)-Dar es Salaam (408.8m/-), 235 students of Sokoine University of Agriculture (387.6m/-) and St. John's University of Tanzania (SJUT) of Dodoma with 164 students (294.7m/-).
Others were Kampala International University (KIU) where the team uncovered 83 ghost students who pocketed 172.9m/-, Institute of Finance Management (IFM) with 85 students pocketing 147.3m/-, Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) where 84 were paid 146.1m/-, Teofilo Kisanji University (TEKU) with 47 pocketing 145m/-, Ruaha Catholic University (RUCU) where 54 students were uncovered pocketing 133.3m/- and Mwenge Catholic University (MWECAU) which had 58 students pocketing 118.2m/-.
At St. Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) 100 students were found pocketing 117.9m/-, at the University of Arusha (UOA) 34 students were found pocketing 81m/-, at Dar es Salaam College of Business Education (CBE) 27 pocketed 65.6m/-, 27 from the University of Bagamoyo (UOB) pocketed 64.1m/-, 23 from Sebastian Kolowa Memorial University (SEKOMU) received 58.9m/-, 22 University of Iringa (UOI) students pocketed 57.9m/-, 29 Mzumbe University students were uncovered pocketing 48.3m/-, 30 Muslim University of Morogoro (MUM) students were uncovered pocketing 44.1m/- and at St John’s University Tanzania –Dar es Salaam 16 were uncovered pocketing 33m/-.
The team also uncovered 50 students at Jordan University College (JUCO) pocketing 30.4m/-, 10 at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences(CUHAS) were uncovered pocketing 26.5m/-, 13 at Mkwawa College of Education (MUCE) pocketed 22.4m/-, 11 Arusha Technical College (ATC) students were caught pocketing 19.7m/-, 10 Mount Meru Universtiy (MMU-Arusha) pocketed 19.5m/- and at Tumaini University Makumira (TUMA)-Arusha 11 were caught pocketing 14.6m/-.
Six at Moshi Co-operative University (MoCU) were uncovered pocketing 14.1m/-, at SAUT-Arusha 33 received 12.3m/-, at the Institute of Accountancy Arusha (IAA) 16 were caught pocketing 7.7m/-.However, the team did not find any ghost students at SAUT-Mbeya and CBE-Dodoma.