Tendai Kamhungira 8 June 2017
HARARE – Air Vice Marshal Sheba Shumbayaonda has been dragged to court for
booting out learners at Living Rock High School.
Kennedy Gonzo, the School Development Committee chairperson, filed an
affidavit on behalf of the school, which is adjacent to Air Commodore
Shumbayaonda’s premises located at Plot number 5 Machere Farm in Mvurwi.
Gonzo told the court that the school has been operating at Plot number 6
since January last year and has an enrolment of 95 students. The school
had converted buildings on the premises into offices and classrooms.
In August last year, after schools closed for holidays, the institution
locked its chairs, tables and boards in one of the rooms for safekeeping.
“Respondent (Shumbayaonda) unlawfully entered into the applicant (Living
Rock High School)’s premises and welded the offices or rooms’ doors and
put burglar bars, screen gates on all the doors and fenced the area with
steel rods, interfering with the land boundaries and alleged that the
building or rooms belonged to him.
“The respondent unprocedurally and unlawfully dispossessed and denied
applicant access to its buildings and school property without applicant’s
consent,” the court heard.
The school reported the matter to the police but was not given any
meaningful assistance. Shumbayaonda allegedly refused to comply with the
demands to vacate the premises. The police subsequently advised the school
to approach the courts.
The school is now seeking an order to be allowed back to the premises.
“The respondent had no court order entitling him to take possession of the
applicant’s property of buildings. He took the law into his own hands,”
Gonzo said in court papers.
The school stands to suffer irreparable harm through Shumbayaonda’s
actions, considering that the students do not have furniture to use at the
moment, he told the court.
“The respondent had no legal right to resort to self-help and take
possession of the building and school properties.
“If the respondent has a dispute with the land owners, he should approach
the court and have his day in court rather than disturbing the children’s
education by practically locking them out of education, which is key to
their brighter future,” Gonzo said.
The school has been allowed to collect its remaining assets from the
buildings in question in the presence of the police.
“The issue of access to the buildings in dispute shall be determined by
the relevant authorities at the instance of the aggrieved party within a
period of two months from the granting of this order,” reads part of the
deed of settlement.