By Tiyese Monjeza:
Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati has expressed concern over increasing cases of encroachment on land belonging to public institutions.
Kaliati has since warned communities that are constructing structures on land belonging to government institutions to immediately halt the work as “it compromises expansion drives of the institutions”.
The minister made the remarks on Friday at Magomero Community College in Chiradzulu District where she presided over the closing of a two-week training workshop for Community Facilitators on Early Childhood Development.
“The issue of encroachment is a big challenge in most government institutions. As part of addressing this challenge, especially in colleges under my ministry, we might construct fences around all institutions. We will also continue engaging communities so that they can voluntarily vacate public land where they encroached,” Kaliati said.
She also warned communities that will resist the directive to vacate the areas they encroached into that the government will not hesitate to destroy the structures.
Magomero Community College Principal Thoko Mtapaonga complained to Kaliati that surrounding villagers have encroached onto the institution’s land where they are constructing houses while others are cultivating on the campus premises.
He also disclosed that the institution is facing a shortage of classroom blocks to accommodate around 250 students who are studying there.
“The school was built in 1963 and only a few students were enrolled that time. Over the years, with the high demand for higher education, we have increased our intake which means we do not have enough space for all the students,” Mtapaonga said.
During the closing ceremony, Kaliati revealed that government will train 35,000 caregivers as part of promoting Early Childhood Development in the country.