National, News

Cabinet backs crackdown on school land grabbers

By Bida Elly David


Council of Ministers has approved a memo that gives power to the Ministry of General Education to reclaim school lands unlawfully taken by individuals.

The National Minister of General Education and Instructions, Awut Deng Acuil, presented a memo for discussion about school plots illegally occupied by land grabbers before the cabinet during Friday’s regular meeting.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Deputy Minister of Information Jacob Maijuk Korok said Minister Awut’s memo was nodded to, and she’s been given approval to take legal measures against the land grabbers.

“The purpose of this memo is to request the council of ministers approve the demolition of illegally constructed buildings on public school land and return it to the Ministry of General Education and Instructions,” Korok told reporters on Friday.

The deputy information minister stressed that some private individuals (businesspeople) have been identified behind the illegal ownership of school land across the country.

Although he never disclosed their names, Korok said the Ministry of Education has the details and statistics of the grabbed lands.

He also underscored that Minister Awut also requested the Cabinet approve a ban on state authorities selling and privatizing school land, as well as holding the land grabbers accountable.

“In most schools, specifically in Juba, some parts of land were given to some businesspeople in the private sector for their businesses without proper documentation, giving headaches to students since you cannot combine learning and business together,” Korok noted.

“That is why the government, through the cabinet, took the decision to demolish all these shops around the schools’ lands that were grabbed for businesses.”

On a separate note, Mr. Korok also stated that the cabinet further discussed the need for reclaiming public hospital land initially grabbed by individuals for business.

“This recommendation also encompasses the ministry of health because they also have land that has been grabbed by individuals across South Sudan,” Korok underscored.

According to him, the Cabinet vowed to back the Ministry of General Education in its fight to reclaim the grabbed school land.

However, the minister never clarified when the memo would be implemented, only to say they should start taking legal measures.

Last year, the vice president of the service cluster, Hussein Abdelbaggi Akol, directed the demolition of structures erected on school land in a bid to promote a conducive learning environment for students and pupils.


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