High Court orders Sheriff to evict Education ministry over $5 million rental arrears

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By Mary Taruvinga

THE High Court has ordered the deputy Sheriff to evict the ministry of Primary and Secondary Education from the premises it is renting in Masvingo failing to pay rent, with arrears having skyrocketed to $5 million.

The ministry occupies Wigley House along Josiah Tongogara Avenue in Masvingo.

Several efforts by the owner, the Mining Industry Pension Fund, to get payment have proved to be futile.

In this regard the matter has now spilled into the courts and a default judgement for the eviction of the ministry has since been granted by

High Court judge, Justice David Mangota.

“The ministry shall pay the sum of $5 050 622.13 being arrear rentals as well as interest of the sum at the rate of five percent per annum calculated from June 30, 2021 to date of full and final payment,” reads the order.

“The ministry shall pay the sum of $188 183.65 being arrears operating costs and levies as well as interest on the sum at the rate of vice percent per annum. First defendant and all those claiming occupation through it shall vacate the premises within two days after service of the present court order on the ministry,” it reads

“The Sheriff of the High Court shall evict first defendant and all those claiming occupation,” ruled the judge.

According to court papers, parties entered into a lease agreement for the 910- square metre property in January 2009 for an initial period of three years up to December 2011 subject to renewal.

However, the ministry failed to pay rentals for several months prompting the building owner to sue.

On June 25, 2021, the landlord served the summons on its lessee for non-payment of rentals.

The ministry ignored the claim resulting in a default judgement being made against it.