By Mashudu Netsianda
The High Court has given a businessman based in the Diaspora the green light to construct a private boarding school at Rouxdale Farm in Bubi district despite resistance by villagers.
The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha follows an urgent chamber application by Mr Thabani Moyo seeking an order interdicting 11 villagers from interfering with the construction work of Quntwasi Secondary School.
“It is ordered that the respondents herein and all those who are acting or working in connivance or in association with them, instructing them or under their instruction, be and are hereby ordered to vacate Quntwasi Secondary School site forthwith. They should also desist from blocking entry or access thereto in any way or interfering with the construction work,” said the judge.
Justice Kamocha directed the Sheriff, with the assistance of police, to evict the villagers from the site of the school.
Mr Moyo has been locked in a protracted legal wrangle with the villagers who are opposed to his plan of setting up a private boarding school.
Mr Moyo, through his lawyers, Moyo and Nyoni Legal Practitioners, cited the 11 villagers, the officer-in-charge of Queenspark Police Station and the Sheriff of the High Court as the respondents.
Mr Moyo, in his founding affidavit deposed by his wife, Mrs Simangele Moyo, argued that he was authorised by Bubi Rural District Council to construct the school.
“Sometime in 2015, applicant approached the Bubi RDC and the councillor for Ward 14 with a request and proposal for land on which to build a boarding school. A motion was made and passed on September 24, 2015 wherefrom it is apparent that the establishment of the school was a welcome initiative. The relevant council committee members representing all villages in the area all agreed that the applicant be given a piece of land for the purposes of constructing a private school in their ward,” said Mrs Moyo.
She said her husband made a special application for lease of State land and it was granted without objections being raised by the district lands officer, the provincial estate management officer and the chief lands officer.
“Applicant is a patriotic Zimbabwean who while working outside the country has a desire to contribute to fostering development in Zimbabwe. His proposal to build the school was accepted and appreciated as it would bring development to an area which has a shortage of educational facilities. The application was approved by the Bubi RDC,” said Mrs Moyo.
She said a letter from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement shows that the land was not initially allocated to anyone, but was left for development purposes.
The villagers accused Mr Moyo of invading their land which was demarcated for grazing.
Mr Moyo says the villagers have taken the law into their own hands by not following the proper procedures.
He accused them of having ulterior motives to disturb his project. The villagers have 10 days to challenge the provisional order. Chronicle