Nursery feud spills into court


KWEKWE The dispute between council and Kwekwe Nursery School over a lease agreement has now spilled into the High Court after the local authority refused to compensate the school for developments made on the property.

Council terminated a 20-year-old lease with the nursery, which was supposed to run until 2017.

The move would leave over 50 kindergarten children stranded before the end of the school term.

The community-run nursery has through its lawyer Valentine Mutatu refused to budge demanding council should first compensate it for developments made on the property.

The community built two classroom blocks, a carport, fenced and gated the premises, among other improvements.

Led by councillor Queenly Chitopo, the community is also resisting the move to close the nursery and pave way for the expansion of the adjacent Al Davis clinic.
The nursery, through a High Court application, is now seeking an order barring council from evicting the children until full compensation is paid.

Council, through its lawyers Wilmot & Bennet, has refused to compensate the nursery demanding the children should first move out before any negotiations.

In a letter dated February 1 2012, the lawyers asked the committee to uproot its property from the council-owned premises.

As regards the carport and double gate, your client should simply uproot them as they are movable.

While we still deliberate on the issue of whether your client is entitled to compensation or not, our view is that your client cannot delay to vacate the premises on account of that issue, reads part of the letter.

Mutatu said his clients approached the High Court following the letter which appeared to be heartless.

That council says we should uproot gates and carports simply because they are in breach of a lawful lease which they signed with our clients, is not only unreasonable, but smacks of a local authority that has lost touch with its responsibilities, Mutatu said.