The Zimbabwe Government has warned the public against being tricked by people claiming to process applications for Presidential scholarships for a fee, saying such applications do not attract a processing fee and no funds have to be sent through individual bank accounts or Ecocash lines.
The warning follows a series of bogus scholarship advertisements circulating on social media.
In a press statement released by the Office of the President and Cabinet on November 16, 2020, the Executive Director of the Presidential and National Scholarships, Dr. Christopher Mushohwe disowned the adverts and advised the public that all genuine and official Government scholarships are always placed in mainstream media and never on social media.
“All official Government scholarships advertisements would require applications to be sent to the Executive Director, Compensation House, Harare,” said Mushohwe.
“The email on the bogus advertisements is not our email.”
Dr Mushohwe further said currently, the Presidential and National Scholarships advertisement is being done once during the beginning of each year, soon after Advanced Level results are out.
“Kindly ignore these advertisements and spread this message to curtail this fraudulent misinformation,” he said.
Scammers have been taking advantage of desperate Zimbabweans who want to study abroad and several scams have been recorded in previous years, including one reported in September 2018 concerning the Graça Machel Trust fraudulent scholarships issued in Zimbabwe using the Trust’s credentials.
According to a statement issued on the Graça Machel Trust official site, the scam was perpetrated by individuals who had misappropriated the name and logo of Mrs Graça Machel and the Graça Machel Trust to unsuspecting victims.
“We would like to inform members of the public, and stakeholders that this is not a Graça Machel Trust – led initiative and we are investigating the source of the fraud,” read the statement.
The Presidential Scholarship Programme has also been rocked by scandal, with the Deputy Director Scholarships in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Oliver Mucherwa and two workers in the same office, Godknows Mupembe and Silent Mubariki allegedly doctoring an invitation letter from Fort Hare University in South Africa in 2019.
The three were arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.