Home 2007-2009 Private school evicted from farm

Private school evicted from farm

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The Deputy Sheriff Bulawayo descended on the school on Friday and completed the exercise yesterday enforcing a Writ of Ejectment, which was issued on 27 October.

On 22 October 2009 senior Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maphios Cheda granted an order confirming the cancellation of the lease agreement between the two parties.

On 6 January 2005, Mr Maxwell Shumba and his wife Sibusisiwe who run the school entered into a lease agreement with the Apostolic Faith Mission of Portland Oregon (Southern Africa Headquarters) over the lease of Greengables Farm where they would run and operate a secondary school.

Justice Cheda ordered the Defendants and those claiming through them to vacate the farm within five days of the service of the order. Failure to comply with the order to vacate the farm, Justice Cheda ordered that the Deputy Sheriff Bulawayo be and "if need be with the assistance of the Central Police Station" evict the Defendants and all those claiming through them from the farm.

Mr and Mrs Shumba were ordered to jointly pay the costs of the suit on an attorney-client scale. On 18 November, Mr Shumba wrote a letter to the church’s lawyer, Mr Sindiso Shepherd Mazibisa, of Cheda and Partners stating, " examinations are ending 18/12/08, we have 30 paying pupils and 12 teachers because we do not have Cambridge. I propose that we abandon court action and the spirit of love, unity, co-operation and understanding be restored."
Mr Shumba further proposed that Mr Mazibisa collects 10 percent of the total receipts per month in a transparent manner to avoid pegging fees beyond what the school could afford.

"I want to believe you shall restore the spirit of God in this unnecessary fighting," wrote Mr Shumba.

According to papers filed by the church’s lawyer, Mr Mazibisa, the church’s overseer, Reverend Richard John Sibanda states that on 11 June this year, they issued and filed summons for the cancellation of the lease agreement.

Rev Sibanda noted that despite having filed a notice to defend they did not file their pleas and a bar was effected on 22 September 2009.
This meant that they could not enter an appearance to defend or file their pleas after this date.

"The Defendants (Mr and Mrs Shumba) have not fulfilled their contractual obligations of paying rentals resulting in Plaintiff (church) cancelling the lease agreement and applying for the eviction of the Defendants from the premises leased to them," wrote Rev Sibanda.

According to Summons issued on 11 June 2009, Mr and Mrs Shumba had failed to pay rent timeously or at all between 6 January 2005 and the date of the Summons.

This was despite demands made on 13 May, 27 May and 29 May 2009. The church wanted an order for payment of arrear rentals in the sum of US$10 000 per month being the arrear rentals for rent not paid for May 2009 together with interest at the prescribed rate from date of Summons to date of full payment on each respective monthly rental.

They further wanted an order for payment of holdover damages in the sum of US$333 per day with effect from 1 June 2009 to date of full payment being damages equivalent to the market rentals to the church for the premises in issue up to the date of eviction and interest at the prescribed rate.

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