By Godfrey Mtimba
MASVINGO – Francis Zimuto (not NMB boss), the self-styled war veterans’ leader and pioneer of the land grabs in the country, has sued Gokomere High School for $63 000 — after the Roman Catholic-owned institution expelled his child from class over outstanding fees.
Zimuto, who goes by the moniker “Black Jesus”, in his court papers argues that Gokomere High School violated his child’s rights to education as enshrined in the new constitution.
The constitution forbids schools from turning away students over failure to pay fees. The firebrand war veteran leader also accuses schools of defying a government directive issued by Lazarus Dokora, the Education minister, barring schools from turning away pupils for non payment of school fees.
“I want my case concluded in the court of law to compensate my suffering and that of my son to the tune of $63 000 for traumatisation, embarrassment, frustrations, loss of learning, study time, character assassination, security to my child, travel risks and exposure to abuse of my child,” says Zimuto.
Black Jesus claims he is being victimised by the church-run school because of his liberation war credentials.
“I am beginning to think that the treatment (that) my son receives is because I am a war vet and children born of war vets are misfits in the community and do not deserve decent education.”
Zimuto says he specifically approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) since the group says “they champion human rights by representing members from the opposition parties now as a war veteran and member of the ruling party, my rights have been trampled upon, I want them to represent me.”
He said on May 12, he drove his son Prudence Zimuto to school with a bank slip as proof of payment for the term’s total fees and travelled to attend a workshop in Mutare.
He claims that his child was allegedly chucked out of school and went back home to spend a night out in the cold since he had taken his house keys with him to Mutare. This, claims Zimuto, caused mental suffering and stress to the child.
“Gokomere School authorities are by law obliged to conform to the laws of the land as such their misconduct is tantamount to gross negligence to duty, disobedient to a lawful instruction and arrogance of the highest degree,” he added in the court papers.
Zimuto is not new to controversy. He was the first person in the country to violently grab a farm from a white commercial farmer in 1999, before he led a solo demonstration against the Queen of England when he walked 299 km from Masvingo to the British Embassy in Harare holding a cross. Daily News