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Madonna’s new Malawi school drives villagers off their lands

African villagers have claimed they are being forced to relocate to give way to a new school in Malawi funded by Madonna’s Raising Malawi charity.

As many as 200 villagers were being shifted from their ancestral land and claimed they were being poorly compensated by the Queen of Pop, who agreed to pay 70,000 pounds in damages.

“My sisters and I inherited this land from our parents, whose parents have been here for over a hundred years. How can I get only K200,000? (850 pounds)” the Daily Express quoted one unhappy villager, Amos Mkuyu, as saying.

District commissioner Charles Kalemba told the villagers in Chinkhota: “The government allowed you to occupy this land because there was no project yet, but now that Madonna wants to build you a school you have to give way. This school is the future of our children’

“You are lucky that Madonna has compensated you for your houses, gardens and trees.” Village head man Binson Chinkhota said: “We have been compen sated and this school is a pride for us as it is the future of our children.”

Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, the school’s principal-designate, added: “We stalled for some months because of the land dispute. We are now in full swing and set to meet the 2011 deadline.”

source: ani