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Students conscripted for 'Operation Garikai'
Maponga, The Standard (Zimbabwe)
students at Masvingo Polytechnic have been commandeered into the
construction of houses under "Operation Garikai" as the government
trails its self-imposed targets, The Standard has learnt.
Students last week said they were instructed to go and help in the
construction of houses under the ambitious project as part of their
"We are being
forced to go and help build the houses at the farm and we have been
told not tell anyone from the media or we will face expulsion. Our
lecturers told us that this was part of our practical learning,"
said one student who declined to be named for fear of victimisation.
He said the
affected students missed their August holidays because they were
building the houses under "Operation Garikai".
The houses in
Masvingo are being constructed at Victoria Ranch near Runyararo
West high-density suburb on stands that are yet to be serviced.
Barnabas Taderera, on Friday confirmed that the students were involved
in the construction of the houses under "Garikai" but denied that
they were being forced.
"It's part of
their practical learning and we just want them to get involved with
the real things on the ground. No one has been forced. Instead of
them building fake structures and then destroying them, we thought
they should go and help," Taderera said.
He said the
students were learning much faster because they are getting hands-on-experience.
"Some students are going there on attachment and those who are still
in college go for the electrification, planning and building. It's
all meant for them to get the real feel of their chosen professions,"
is struggling to meet its target of building 4 000 houses under
"Garikai" in Masvingo due to a critical shortage of building materials
and lack of funds.
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