BY DRAXON MALOYA
Communities under ten village headmen, under Sub Traditional Authority Thula at Msongwe Township in the city of Mzuzu on Saturday, demolished all the structures constructed on a piece of land which is said to belong to Msongwe Gate Primary school.
Group Village Headman Chibeti argued that the community was already aware that all the encroachers got an order from Mzuzu City Council informing them of a 21 day ultimatum to vacate the school plot or else the community should deal with them accordingly.
The Councils Town Planner, Yona Simwaka said the school plot was well demarcated hence no need for any noble person to encroach onto it, that piece of land government bought in 2000 with the purpose of constructing Msongwe Gate Primary School.
“In fact the construction of the school was initiated by the local community but all the necessary procedures were followed, and this being a public or government land that means all those who have encroached onto it would have left the place immediately,” Simwaka said.
In his remarks the Director of Operations for Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Northern Region Chapter, Gibson Chisale expressed disappointment with some of the encroachers who bought pieces of land meant for the school development programs.
“It is sad to note some of the names of well learned people who are said to have bought plots on a piece of land which is meant for the school can be those of former High Court Judges and some Malawi Defence Force (MDF) officers, as HRDC we cannot condone such malpractices as such we shall make sure that all the encroachers are evicted from the school land”.
According to village Headman Bulamu Saka, “the council gave the community 21 days to make sure that no any encroacher should be found on school land, so they came to demolish all the structures illegally standing on government land.
A man at the center of controversy who is said to be selling plots from the school’s land, Steven Nkhata remains defiant that the school is extending its boundaries into his plot hence the confusion and that he is ready to pay back the money (MK150 000.00) the city gave his father meant for compensation of trees to enable the school construction project”.
Msongwe Junior Gate Primary School was constructed in 2002 as one way of managing the congestion which came about as a result of free primary school education which almost doubled the enrolment of primary school pupils in the country.