14 December 2018 | A court has nullified a decision by the Adventist denomination to remove the headmaster of Solusi Adventist High School in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, from his post.
The Bulawayo High Court ruled that the denomination did not have the authority to remove Phanson Tshuma since he is considered a civil servant due to a government partnership with the school.
Tshuma had originally been dismissed for allegedly failing to properly run the school.
According to a December 14 news story from the Chronicle, Bulawayo High Court Judge Justice Maxwell Takuva ruled that Tshuma could only be dismissed or transferred by the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education in consultation with the Public Service Commission.
Solusi Adventist High School is run by the Adventist Church but is a government-assisted school under a partnership between churches and the government.
Tshuma was originally notified by the denomination’s South Zimbabwe Conference Education Director, Pastor Thamsanqa Ndlovu, to leave his post and turn over his responsibilities to his deputy in May. The headmaster protested against this action by filing an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court.
Justice Maxwell Takuva responded by ruling that Mr Tshuma’s dismissal was unlawful. He also blocked Ndlovu from interfering with Tshuma’s work.
The Adventist denomination has approximately a million members in Zimbabwe.