herentals row.jpgLessons came to a halt at Cold Comfort Primary School in Harare as parents clashed with security personnel from Herentals College, which is alleged to have assumed ownership of the educational institution.

The parents were bitter about the purported but unannounced change of ownership of the school in circumstances which were not clear to them.

Pupils at Cold Comfort Primary School in Harare had a bad start to the term as their opening day was characterised by chaos as parents clashed with Herentals College officials who allegedly came to take over the running of the school from Release Power Investments.

When ZBC News visited the school, Herentals College had already brought in building equipment to renovate the school and some new teachers to assume duties.

However some parents who spoke to ZBC News accused Herentals officials of allegedly failing to politely explain the sudden change of ownership and administration to the inquiring parents.

They alleged that college officials unleashed hired security men at them, who beat up parents before the arrival and intervention of the police.

“Schools have just opened and suddenly we are told the school has been sold. We did not even have time to buy our children new uniforms or to arrange their transfers,” said one parent.

Another woman said, “We came here wanting to enquire about the fees structure. That’s when some guys from Herentals came and started beating one of us.”

The Chairman of the Cold Comfort Primary School’s Development Committee, Mr Anderson Mhunzi, confirmed that they had not received any information that the school had been sold and got the news from flyers that were distributed by the Herentals College on Sunday.herentals college row.jpg

A Release Power Investments lawyer, Mr Vote Muza, accused Herentals College of grabbing what does not belong to them and said the purported takeover of the school by Herentals stems from an illegal transaction.

He said, “The transactions were illegal. Herentals grabbed property that does not belong to them.”

Efforts to get the comment from the Herentals College were fruitless as the alleged owners identified as the purpoted owners of Herentals, the Benzas, directed the ZBC crew to their Communications Officer, Mr Mahachi, whose mobile phone was unreachable.

Police Inspector James Sabau confirmed the ownership wrangle at the school.