There was drama at Mkoba 3 High School in Gweru when the Messenger of Court evicted a teacher from a schoolhouse which he was refusing to vacate for the past 3 years.
Chenjerai Mupasi’s property was removed from the Caretaker’s cottage after losing a long legal battle with the School Development Committee (SDC) which wanted the house to be occupied by a newly employed Warden.
Hordes of angry Zanu PF supporters rushed to the school on Wednesday afternoon, in support of the evicted teacher after news of his eviction started circulating on social media.
According to sources, Mupasi is said to be alleging that he was being evicted from the Caretaker’s cottage he was occupying for more than 12 years because he was a strong Zanu PF member and the SDC was dominated by MDC-A supporters who are out to punish him.
Sources claim that he was given permission to occupy the house by the then-school head, Mrs. Marufu Gandanhamo after he was allegedly evicted from a Mkoba 14 house some years ago and was given the permission to temporarily occupy the caretaker’s cottage while looking for proper accommodation.
According to documents in possession of The Sun, in a letter dated 12th December 2019, the school SDC wrote to Mr. Mupasi giving him notice to vacate from the Caretaker’s cottage with effect from 30 March 2020.
“We write notifying you to vacate the caretaker’s cottage with effect from 30 March 2020. We also notice with deep concern over nonpayment of rentals for that cottage for the past 5+ years, which amounts to $6615.00, due to the school. You are therefore called upon to have settled the debt by the time you leave,” reads part of the letter signed by five SDC executive members including the school head.
After Mupasi failed to vacate the cottage by the 30th of March 2020, the SDC on 19 May 2020 wrote to him asking for his position concerning the issue since the time given had expired.
In another letter dated 22 June 2020, the SDC wrote to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education (District schools Inspector-Gweru) seeking assistance on the matter.
“We write seeking your assistance to facilitate vacation of caretaker’s house by Mupasi Chenjerai who has been occupying the house since 2009 to date. After realizing the need for a caretaker in the school, we gave Mupasi Chenjerai notice to vacate the house and in January we had interviews for a caretaker.
“It is in view of the above that we seek your help in order for us to have accommodation for the caretaker who is staying outside the school from 1st February 2020”, reads part of the letter.
When contacted for comment, Mr. Mupasi said it was a long story and unfortunately he was not allowed to talk to the press.
However, he wrote on 1, October 2020, to the school headmistress Mrs. Muchenje notifying her of his intention to vacate the cottage by 30 September 2020.
“Pursuant to the discussions and resolutions made in the DSI meeting held on 30 September. I kindly notify you that I will be vacating the premises I have been staying by the 30th of October 2020”
A senior Zanu PF official told this reporter that the party was not happy with Mr Mupasi as he failed to give accurate information about his eviction.
“All along we were protesting as we were informed that he was being victimized on political grounds, but with the information now at hand, it’s a different story, it’s very unfortunate, said the official who requested not to be named.
Efforts to get a comment from the school headmistress, Mrs. Muchenje were unsuccessful, while the SDC chairperson Mr Wellington Fokazana confirmed the eviction saying the school was paying rent for the caretaker outside the school, while a house meant for him was being occupied by a teacher who is getting housing allowance from the government.
He said a lot of property was being stolen at the school because they don’t have a caretaker staying on the premises.
By the time of going to Press, Mr Mupasi’s property was still outside the house and unconfirmed reports suggests he maybe sleeping in one of the class rooms at the school