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US$28 000 school fees dispute spills into court

By Mashudu Netsianda

LINGFIELD Christian Academy, an upmarket private school in Gweru has taken a parent to court for defaulting in the payment of more than US$28 000 in school fees for his four children enrolled at the institution.

Bulawayo High Court
Bulawayo High Court

The institution through its lawyers Jumo Mashoko and Partners filed an application for summary judgment at the Bulawayo High Court citing Mr Tranos Huruba as a respondent.

The school is seeking an order directing Mr Huruba to pay US$28 350 being the outstanding school fees due in respect of his four children for the 2016-17 academic year.

Mr Huruba owes varying amounts ranging from US$7 528 to US$9 020. In his founding affidavit, Mr Morton Mabandla, the chairman of the school’s board of governors, said on August 20, 2015 under case number HC7852/15, they filed summons against Mr Huruba claiming the payment of the outstanding fees and he failed to settle the money.

Mr Mabandla said although Mr Huruba entered an appearance to defend the summons, he did not have a bona fide defence to the claim.

He said on September 27, 2017, despite having signed an acknowledgment of debt and undertaking to pay the total school fees of US$34 830 by December 30, 2017, Mr Huruba only paid US$6 480.

“Of the sum of US$34 830 which the respondent had admitted to be owing and had undertaken to pay, he only paid US$6 480 leaving a balance of US$28 350. The respondent remains indebted to the school and only entered an appearance to defend and plea for purposes of delaying payment of arrear school fees, which he had undertaken to pay in writing,” said Mr Mabandla.

Lingfield Christian Academy is at the centre of a family feud between some of its trustees.

The school, which was being run by Mabandla Trust, has been in turmoil after one of the trustees, Mr Prince Mabandla started fighting his mother, Mrs Stella Mabandla for control of the school.

Prince recently approached the courts seeking an interdict barring his mother from setting foot on the school premises.

Most parents started withdrawing their children after the fight between mother and son broke out.

The school, which offered both Zimsec and Cambridge examinations, is reportedly one of the best private schools in the Midlands.The Chronicle