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Rumbek Mayor demolishes informal structures

Authorities of Rumbek municipality in Lakes State

By Mabor Riak Magok

Authorities of Rumbek municipality in Lakes State have launched a demolition exercise of all the illegal shops and makeshift standing in the middle of the roads in Rumbek town on Thursday.

In an interview with Juba Monitor, the Town Mayor of Rumbek municipality, Peter Maliab Chieny said the demolition exercise in Rumbek town is meant to do away with old buildings and to clear off all the illegal shops and makeshift standing in the middle of the roads in the old park of former provinces which links Rumbek-Wau, and Rumbek-Juba roads.

“As the policy of the government, we want to change the face of the town because, since the establishment of the government of South Sudan, most of the shops have not even been renovated so we told owners of the shops to renovate their shops and put on new iron sheets at least to change the face of the market because we want modifications of Rumbek city to look better,” said Chieny.

He said, in the hierarchy of towns, Rumbek could be either city number  4 or 2 in South Sudan if not because of the behaviours of people which included sitting in the middle of the roads.

The Mayor complained that one could not make a plan of development without these lands allotted to schools, health Centers and playing ground to human beings that will not be a Town and this is what we are trying to tell the people that these places belong to the government.

He explained that the community will be the one to benefit from the plans of the government because children of the same community will be taught in the schools and the people will be getting health services in those health centres if one is sick and their children will be able to play in the playing grounds in Rumbek town.

He said the government is not taking these places for itself but it is taking these places to construct schools and health centres in the area.

Chieny said that it will not be the sole responsibility of the government to compensate anyone who has settled in any place allotted as public land.

He asked the people who have come to occupy the places due to fear for their lives as a result of insecurity caused by sectional conflicts to return back to their area code because peace has prevailed in the areas. 

He said what they are doing is not in their own interest or the interest of the government but rather in the interest of the public.

Gordon Dhukpuou, a victim of demolition in Rumbek town, said that most of his shops located near the junction and around the villa park have been demolished by the government.

” I have this place allotted to me by the former Commissioner and I was given documents. now, it is demolished and it has caused me a lot of money. ” He said .” if the government demolished these places and return my piece of shop allotted to me back then I don’t have any problem but if the government allows it to another person. This is where I will be questioning the government as to why it gives my piece of land away “. He said.

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