Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
AUTHORITIES at Hillside Teachers’ College have “discovered” a forgotten piece land belonging to the institution, 25 years after it was donated by Government.
The four-hectare piece of land, which is situated behind the college was donated to the institution by Government in 1992 but had not been utilised or talked about since then.
On Thursday, the college’s principal, Mr Edward Gumpo said they launched investigations after an offer letter from the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement was discovered in the college’s archives.
Mr Gumpo, who was appointed the college’s principal in September 2014 led Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Professor Jonathan Moyo and senior officials from higher and tertiary institutions on a tour of the piece of land after the college’s 58th graduation ceremony on Thursday.
The piece of land has since been fenced off, with plans to build staff houses, other additional college infrastructure and a green house.
Mr Gumpo said the piece of land came as a pleasant surprise to them because they needed more space for infrastructure.
“We discovered an offer letter that was written to the college in 1992 by Government. We decided to go to the Bulawayo City Council and they confirmed that the land belonged to us.
“We also went to the lands ministry and they confirmed that the land was donated to the college,” said Mr Gumpo.
“It’s unfortunate that no one knew about the existence of this piece of land but we’re happy with the discovery. We’ve since cleared it, fenced it off and termed it the Hillside Teachers’ College Extension. The land will be put to good use through the construction of staff houses, other additional college infrastructure and a green house.”
He said the clearing of the land also came as a relief to residents as people were being robbed, mugged and murdered in the bushy area.
Professor Moyo advised Mr Gumpo and the college authorities to ensure that they have title deeds for the property.
“An offer letter doesn’t confirm ownership of a property. You can only claim ownership when you have title deeds. You therefore have to pursue this issue and make sure that the land indeed belongs to Hillside Teachers’ College,” said Prof Moyo. — @pamelashumba1