Disputed lease agreement surfaces in nursery row

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Kwekwe City Council was last week forced to produce the 20- year agreement between the authority and community-run Kwekwe Nursery School following an urgent High Court application by the school committee.

The nursery sought court intervention to stop a pending eviction from council premises.

In a letter dated February 22, council lawyers Wilmot and Bennett disclosed the local authority had found a copy of the lease agreement which has been the subject of a protracted dispute with the nursery for nearly a year.

Council had claimed there was no lease agreement for the council-owned premises which have been used as a nursery school for the past 50 years, but just two weeks after the court application, they claimed to have found the lease.

We are glad to inform you that our client has managed to locate its copy (of the lease) and we enclose a copy herewith for your information and file, reads the letter.

The Shadreck Tobaiwa-led council wants to close the kindergarten which is home to 50 children in a bid to expand the adjacent Al Davis Clinic on grounds there was no lease agreement between the two parties.

Tobaiwa had refused to recognise a 20-year old lease produced by Kwekwe Nursery School, claiming it was forged, forcing the school to approach the High Court seeking an order compelling the council to produce the original document.

To our surprise, council has produced the same document which the mayor has religiously refused to accept saying it is fake and forged. But we are happy that the document has been produced and we, therefore, withdraw our court summons, said the nursery lawyer Valentine Mutatu.

Council, however, insists the crche should be evicted to pave way for the expansion of the clinic despite resistance from the community.

Mutatu told NewsDay apart from refusing to renew the schools business licence; council had also blocked all water and rates accounts which the school used to settle its bills with the local authority.