Parents fight for Cold Comfort Primary School

Staff Reporter

At the advent of independence the government of Zimbabwe introduced a policy of education for all in order to improve the literacy rate of its people. The emphasis was particularly that no children should fail to attend primary education.

Welcome sign at the school

Cold Comfort Community School was built in 1981 by the Cold Comfort Society and run by a residence trust, the school was to cater for the farm and domestic workers children. This was in line with the then new government education policy.

From the onset the school was run as a public school within Cold Comfort Community however over the years this has changed and the school turned into a private run entity.

Due to urban growth the school has a current enrolment of 1200 children and is the only primary school in Cold Comfort with a catchment area extending to Dawnview Park, Kuwadzana, Eastview, Crowbough and Warren Park D.

One of the resident who has been in the area since 1981 narrated how the school was build by residents through foreign donor-ship.

“After land was identified for a school to be built, we would go to our jobs during the day and then build the school in the evening” said one of the residents who spoke on anonymity.

Recent developments are that the school is now privately owned and this has made it difficult for parents to afford the school fees. The developers who acquired Cold Comfort land from Cold Comfort Trust claim that they bought both the land and the public school from Cold Comfort Trust.

According to information supplied by the parents the Trustees Board include: Didymus Mutasa, Emmerson Mnangagwa, Patrick Chinamasa, Bezel Nyabadza and Robert Gabriel Mugabe.  

Parents made petitions to the government during the old dispensation and the take-over was temporarily halted. In 2019 Mr Gumbo announced to the school management that he was awarded a ruling to take over the school whilst the ruling was done in the absence of Cold Comfort Community and Cold Comfort Trust. 

The wrangle between the parents and the government has been going on for the past eight years. In 2011 Didymus Mutasa one of the stated trustees wrote an affidavit opposing the purported sale of the school refuting claims of Onias Gumbo representing the developer.

The school is now in the control of Onias Gumbo who is also the Director of Release Power, an engineering company founded in 1997 whose services are design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment.

Efforts to get comments from the school management were fruitless as they are forbidden to speak to the public or media about the issue.

The school hall which was built by well-wishers, Guy & Molly Clutton

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