Enmore North residents accuses Co-op of land grabbing campaign

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…Co-op secretary denies allegations

Residents of Enmore North on Wednesday called on the Government to intervene in a situation that is resulting in transports being issued by the Enmore North Co-op Society to individuals for lands that have already being occupied by other residents for close to 20 years and more.

The residents claim that since 2015, they have been faced with a situation where individuals are turning up at their properties claiming that have been granted transports and titles as well as other forms of documentation which purport to prove that they are the rightful and legal owners of land in the area.

According to over two dozen residents, who spoke with the <<<Guyana Times>>>, the claims have increased over the past three months with these new purported land owners taking more aggressive actions against the residents occupying the lands in order to get them off the properties.

Mrs ‘Deokalie’ Balkissoon

said that her brother Jaganauth Sookram had been living at 26 Enmore North for close to 20 years uninterrupted before he died and left the land and property built on it to his six-year old son at the time, Balchan Sookram. She was the caretaker of the property until the young man came of age to inherit his father’s land.

“The Co-op gave us no notice”, she said as she protested on Wednesday explaining that the alleged new transport holders swooped down on the property and demolished the two-storied house on the land before erecting a new fence demarking the land. Balkisson claimed that the house was being rented over a period of time since her brother’s son who is now 25-years old had resided with her for a number of years at her property.

She said that when they called in members of the Police Force on “Holy Thursday” when the new transport owner was demolishing the property, they refused to assist when what she called a “fake transport” was produced by an individual. Balkisson also alleged that her husband was being chased away by the Co-op as of recent when he attempted to pay the rates and taxes or dues on the property.

Attempts on her part to meet the officials at the Co-op to get answers about her issue have been futile to date.

Another resident who identified herself as Chandawattie Walikam said that she has been experiencing problems too with securing her transport for a property and land that her husband bought back in 1983. She claims that someone else was issued a transport for her land forcing her to take action in the courts in 2014 since she has resided on the land for close to 36 years.

Chandawattie Walikam

Other residents made numerous allegations that the lands were being siphoned off and sold to persons close to the Executives of the Enmore Coop with one person alleging that the Chairman’s son is also a beneficiary from the corruption taking place within the Co-op Society.

When contacted on Thursday, Secretary of the North-Haslington Community Cooperative Society Mary Luke said that there is no Enmore-North Society as the lands under question were granted to Enmore as an extension.

She said that the residents who are complaining have no transports or official documentations for the properties and lands that they are claiming pointing out that in some instances they have been engaged in illegal squatting and sale of the Co-op’s lands over a number of years despite warnings and rebuke’s from the police and other central authorities.

Luke challenges the residents who have grievances with the transports issued by the Co-op to take the society to court and prove their cases if they feel that some illegality has been taking place. The Co-op Secretary dismissed the interference by political elements in the opposition as pure mischief and strife as they explained that the work of her Co-op is transparent and legal. (Michael Younge)

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