Nyanga School Drags Lands Minister To Court Over Timber Harvesting

Lands Minister Anxious Masuka

A GOVERNMENT-owned school in Nyanga, Nyafaru Secondary, is up in arms with a private firm, Nyafaru Development Company, after the latter invaded the school, camped at the site, and started harvesting timber, disturbing learning.

Disturbed by the events, the school headmaster Bernard Maoko has since rushed to court seeking an order instructing the company to stop its “illegal” activities.

The school authorities are seeking powers to execute a court order issued in favour their earlier this year.

In January, Nyafaru Development company was taken to court after its workers camped at the school resulting in an interdict being issued against it.

Also cited as respondents in the application are; Lands Minister Anxious Masuka, Manicaland Provincial Minister Nokuthula Matsikenyeri, and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.

According to court papers, the school entered into a lease agreement with the company for land measuring 717 hectares named Lot 1 of Inyanga.

The school had been in undisturbed possession of the land since 6 January this year when the company invaded the land and erected camps and started harvesting timber.

“Respondents agents also destroyed water pipes and fence on the school and threatened the school members, parents and school workers with acts of violence,” the court application reads.

“School members, as well as the headmaster of the school, have tried to stop the first respondent from their illegal activities without success.”

The application says the following morning after the company was served with the eviction order, the agents again stormed the school and caused havoc.

“The following day a fire broke around 7 pm within the school’s plantation. The fire was caused by the first respondent’s agents who were protesting against the victory of the applicant in obtaining a provisional order,” the headmaster adds in his application.

Nyafaru Development Company then filed an appeal suspending the interim order granted in favour of the school by the High Court.

The headmaster, Maoko, said the company only filed an appeal to delay proceedings and had no genuine reason to appeal.

“The first respondent has been continuously ferrying timber and disrupting school activities using its agents and assigns. No other alternative remedy will ensure that the company is stopped from disrupting learning activities and stop cutting down and harvesting on the land upon which the applicant’s school has a lease with the Minister of State (Matsikenyeri). Applicant must execute the order granted in HC30/21 pending appeal,” he said.

Maoko said the company will not suffer any prejudice considering it has no legal basis to continue doing harvesting timber at the school. The case is pending. newzimbabwe

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