Lands Commissioner defends move to repossess leases in Mocha

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-says no political interference

Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GL&SC) Trevor Benn has defended his move to cancel the leases of four businessmen in the Mocha Community.  According to the Department of Public Information (DPI), the Land Commissioner stated that it was not a political decision since the GL&SC does not receive any political direction.

GL&SC Commissioner Trevor Benn

Benn was responding to allegations made by the Leader of the Opposition Dr Bharrat Jagdeo, who recently claimed that the GL&SC was directed to repossess the land from the four lease holders.

“I have had very clear instructions that whatever happens here must be as a result of decisions made at the level of the Board and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). I don’t receive any instructions from any minister in relation to whose land should be taken away,” Benn told members of the media on Tuesday, according to DPI.

He explained that in the case of Mocha, it was his personal decision to repossess the over 1000 acres of land, which was unoccupied after four years, DPI said.

“One of the first complaints I received from residents when I came to the Commission was that they were not able to access the land because these people have it. And so, on my own, without any instruction from any place, I used the law and took back the land.”

Benn said the conditions of the lease specify that if the lease holder does not occupy the land within a particular timeframe, it can be repossessed. According to Land Commissioner, the GL&SC did just that and is about to distribute over 200 house lots to residents there.

Early last month, at a Mocha community meeting, Benn had noted that residents in the community have for years been receiving unfair deals in the allocation of land titles, DPI said

 

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