Form One enrolment: Dokora wins
Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The e-enrolment for 2017 Form One places implemented by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education will now proceed without hitches after the firm which challenged the system at the High Court withdrew the lawsuit yesterday.
Purple Divine Technology withdrew its challenge after High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi grilled it in his chambers over its legal standing to sue the ministry.
The software development firm had claimed ownership and control of the e-MAP, the on-line enrolment system and sought an interim order to stop the ministry from using it for the enrolment of 2017 Form One boarding pupils.
Primary and Secondary Education Minister Dr Lazarus Dokora, through his lawyers Advocate Webster Chinamhora assisted by Advocate Regina Mabwe successfully argued his case before Justice Chitapi.
Adv Chinamhora told the judge that Purple Divine Technology lacked locus standi to bring such an application.
He said a firm called ZimAssist owned the school enrolment software.
“The court has the wrong applicant,” argued Adv Chinamhora.
“ZimAssist, which applicant claims ownership, owns the e-MAP software. The applicant is therefore a busybody, claiming that which it never had.”
Adv Chinamhora said by its own allegations, the software firm was ill-suited to bring a claim against the minister.
Purple Divine Technology’s case became more feeble when Justice Chitapi made it clear that the application was defective and improperly before the court.
Dr Dokora welcomed the court outcome.
“People must learn to appreciate that which is helpful for the system,” he said in an interview. “We want a transparent mechanism that will assist all our people, rich and poor, all our people in the rural and urban areas, as well as the farming communities to benefit from a transparent system.”
Purple Divine Technology director Mr Nyasha Matongo filed the application on December 15 seeking to stop Dr Dokora from using the e-MAP software.
He accused the Minister of stealing and pirating his idea.
In a bid to strengthen his case, Mr Matongo attached minutes of meetings held with the Ministry along with other correspondence between the two parties.
Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Dr Dokora said 73 percent of the 24 000 available places for Form One were already taken using the new system.
“The balance is split between few schools that have yet to receive a full complement of the applicants, either through the manual override system (parents going directly to schools) or through ministry on-line system,” he said.
“Please, be advised that those who wish to travel to the schools or use the on-line registration are equally welcome. We thank our valued stakeholders for shunning corruption and embracing tools that enhance transparency and the ease of doing business.”
Of the 329 549 Form One entrants, only 24 000 could be accommodated in boarding schools.
This year, Dr Dokora said, the ministry recorded the highest number of young learners transitioning into Form One.
“We anticipate a surge in the infant classes as our stakeholders continue to trust the vision of President Mugabe that every child be granted access to basic education.”