Zimbabwe: 140 Students Stranded As Police Chief Forces Closure of School

16 January 2020

High Court judge, Amy Tsanga has directed Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and the Chikurubi Support Unit Independent College's parents to reach an agreement within 24 hours of his ruling after the police chief ordered the school closure leaving more than 100 pupils stranded.

The directive comes after the college's parents approached the courts challenging a decision by Matanga to order the closure of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) run college on January 2 this year without giving prior notice, leaving about 140 pupils stranded.

The urgent chamber application cited the Police Commissioner General, Officer Commanding ZRP Support Unit, Support Unit Independent College and the Primary and Secondary Education Minister as respondents. Norman Nedziwe is the first applicant with five other parents.

Through their legal representatives, Alex Majachani and Godfrey Nyamukuwa of Alex.F & Associates, the parents told the court that Matanga's decision to close the school without giving reasonable and sufficient notice to the pupils and their parents to find alternative schools was unreasonable, illegal, invalid and must be set aside.

"He acted outside his mandate by usurping the powers granted to the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in terms of the Education Act (Chapter 25:04)," the affected parents said in their court application.

"The directive violates the applicants' (as representatives of their children) constitutional right to administrative justice which is fair and reasonable."

The parents are also arguing they had a legitimate expectation that the school would continue to operate and were entitled to a reasonable notice if the college was to close.

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