East African Cooperation Minister Samuel Sitta has cancelled an order of demolishing staff houses at Horohoro border to pave the way for the construction of an entry road at the border post.
He said the decision of demolishing the houses would add more expenses to the government and suggested that the road should be diverted instead.
Sitta cancelled the demolition order after being told by the border post staff that there was no enough houses for them and their families and even the few houses they had would be demolished to give room for an entry road to the border post.
In their report read by Horohoro border post immigration officer Abdallah Nyika said the staff were working in appalling conditions due to lack of accommodation.
They said apart from living in such conditions, their houses would be demolished and all staff were required to rent houses until the new ones were constructed.
They said such a decision would make them live in appalling conditions and so they asked the government to review its decision of demolishing the houses and instead it should construct other staff houses.
After hearing the report Sitta wondered how the government could abolish the staff houses, while the workers were crying about shortages of houses.
"It doesn't come in someone's mind to hear that the government plans to demolish the houses, while the workers need them. By the way, the demolition process is not beneficial but will only add the burden to the government. Moreover, we don't know for how long it will take to have the new staff houses," he said.
He noted that he would take the matter to the responsible authorities to review the process and ensure the staff members were not deprived of their houses.
Another big problem which faces Horohoro residents is a shortage of water, which makes them buy water at 500/- per 20-litre gallon.
“We submitted our proposal to the Ministry of Water in 1997 but we are have been often told there is no money for it. We ask you minister to help us get water because Horohoro border earns the country a lot of money in terms of revenue collection," said Mkinga executive district director Alfred Ngaponda.
Responding to the water problem, Sitta promised to meet with the deputy minister in the Ministry of Water to discuss and find a way of solving the problem to improve the workers’ working environment.
Sitta was on a one-day tour of Horohoro border post to see what is happening and improve services at the border post.