Amagumaguma invade Plumtree school, turn it into criminal hideout

PLUMTREE border touts, popularly known as amagumaguma, have turned a school in Nxele along the border with Botswana into a base for criminal activities, a situation which has riled villagers.

BY Richard Muponde

This was revealed by Bulilima West legislator Dingimuzi Phuti at a meeting with traditional and community leadership at Ezimnyama business centre yesterday held to review progress on the construction of Ezimnyama Clinic, which was mooted 67 years ago.

The gangs reportedly broke into Nxele Primary School and are using the premises for criminal activities to the chagrin of locals.

The school now lies derelict because of their activities.

Calls have been made to end their activities and upgrade the school’s security systems.

“We have a school at Nxele which is along the border. We have held several meetings about its a completion so that it enrols ECD [Early Childhood Development] up to Grade 3 so that infants don’t travel long distances to Vaka or Osabeni primary schools, but enrol there at Grade 4 when they are a bit grown up, as we also increase classroom blocks at the school to enrol all grades,” Phuti said.

He said the major challenge was that of amagumaguma who were vandalising the buildings and using the structures as their hideout for criminal activities.

“We have agreed to refurbish the school and upgrade its security systems so that we rid it of these criminals. It could not be a school where criminals are based and teachers and pupils will teach and learn in intimidating environment,” the legislator said.

However, progress has stalled at Emzinyama Clinic after the army, which was supposed to build the structure, got committed elsewhere, leaving the community to source other builders.

Work is expected to resume tomorrow.

All the building material has been purchased up to roofing with Phuti projecting that the structure would be complete in two months and open in a year.

The project has been stalled for seven years, with successive Members of Parliament failing to complete it.

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