Kwekwe — The fight between council and the Newtown community over premises housing the city’s oldest nursery institution has taken a nasty twist, with the local authority using its regulatory muscle to deny the school an operating licence.
There has been a protracted battle between the local authority and the community over Kwekwe Nursery with an enrolment of 50 children.
Council wants to close the nursery and use the building to expand an adjacent Al Davis — Clinic run by the local authority.
But the move has been met with resistance by parents who have engaged lawyers to fight the local authority in court.
Lawyer Valentine Mutatu of Mutatu & Partners, representing the school, said council had refused to renew the nursery’s operating licence which expired at the end of last month.
“The school applied to have its licence — in line with the city’s by–laws renewed, but the local authority has refused in an effort to close them down for operating illegally after attempts to bulldose our client out of its leased premises failed,” Mutatu said.
It is illegal for a business or school to operate from a council property without a requisite licence which is renewed annually.
The latest development according to Mutatu, will force the committee to approach the High Court for redress.
The community is accusing the Shadreck Tobaiwa-led council of breaching a 20-year lease agreement, signed in 1997 by then executive mayor Johnson Mawere.
However, Tobaiwa insists there is no lease agreement between the two parties.