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Abdelbagi gets cabinet backing to reclaim grabbed school lands

Bida Elly David


Council of Ministers backs a plight of Vice President for Service Cluster, Hussien Abdelbagi Akol, to reclaim school lands from grabbers, across the country.

The cabinet support came after VP Abdelbagi tabled a memo before the council of ministers on restoring school land grabbed by individuals for private use.

He made the presentation during Friday’s regular cabinet meeting and set out critical measures against school-land grabbers across South Sudan.

Information Minister Michael Makuei said the decision taken by the cabinet was to ensure the establishment of more schools for learners in the country.

“The presentation by Hussein was focused on taking over school lands by land grabbers in Juba and other parts of South Sudan,” Makuei told reporters shortly after Friday’s meeting.

Makuei said the cabinet tasked the vice president of the service cluster to work alongside the national minister of general education and instructed Awut Deng to recover the school lands.

“They (Abdelbagi and Awut) were told to take appropriate steps in order to recover all the school lands in South Sudan belonging to the Ministry of Education and other government institutions,” Makuei said.

The government spokesperson, however, failed to disclose the full directives the cabinet came up with to deal with the land grabbers.

He also failed to disclose the seized school premises in Juba and other parts of the country.

Last year, the Vice President for Service Cluster vowed, under his jurisdiction, to punish anyone who attempted to grab any school land.

Abdelbagi said he had laid down a practical strategy to put down old structures in public institutions of learning for renovation.

He also promised to demolish any type of building erected by bodies that played the game of owning public assets to serve their own interests.

The initiative was made in a bid to reshape most of these schools that have been experiencing long-term depreciation without being renovated to create a sustainable and conducive learning environment for learners across the country.

VP Abdelbagi said most public institutions of learning still run under old structures that would be risky for learners as they would collapse at any time and may discourage learners from attending classes.

He disclosed that land grabbers have established tentative structures within the premises of public schools, aiming to wage a strategy to forcefully claim those chunks of land.

“We are going to inspect all public schools with structures being constructed by land grabbers who struggle to forcefully own them. I am telling them that we are going to crash them, using bulldozers,” the vice president warned last year.

However, he never revealed the names and number of schools containing the established structures by the intruders, whom he termed to be public land grabbers.

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