By Tracey Khan – Drakes
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Some Guyanese across the country have started a new trend of illegally squatting on lands that have been purchased by other citizens.
This trend began only days before the APNU+AFC coalition was about to take public office and form the new government. The land grabbing is taking place in Lusignan, East Coast Demerara where residents have taken up space that was officially leased to Members of the Lusignan Dairy Farmers Services Cooperative Society Limited (LDFSCSL) for a 50 year period in 2003.
They have set up pickets to demarcate plots of land on the pasture that they intend to use for the building of their homes.
Twenty – two – year old Indro Latchman is adamant that the land should be given to the 22 members of the Co -Op society to whom it was initially leased to so that they can construct homes to improve their standard of living.
Latchman, who lives with a large family told iNews that “for the past 10 years no cow mining has been done here so we want to know what’s going on the Government promise to give the lands to the residents of Lusignan and that’s 10 years ago…one person in Lusignan own the whole grass field but this land is on lease, we getting frustrating because one person cannot own the land when my father, my grandfather everybody work on this land and you think it’s fair for one person to own it, it was a Co – Op, everybody join and pay.”
They are calling for owner of the land to be released so that they can take their next step. Another resident explained that he has been a member of the Co – Op society for over 19 years.
“I use to mine cow and me stop mine cow and we paying lease for this land and one body got the lease and can’t release it to hand this land over to us…now the member need the lease for the land because is 24 of us in the Co – Op and the rest of the members don’t want to give up this lease, you don’t know where it is or who has it, we don’t know if they took the lease and take a loan or whatsoever.”
According to the residents they were told by a previous People’s Progressive Party/Civic cabinet member to inhabit the land.
The residents have called out the previous PPP/C administration for its shortfall in proving them with house lots even after applying, some over ten years ago.
Meanwhile, residents at Diamond East Bank Demerara told iNews that persons are not only taking lands but homes that were purchased from the Housing Ministry by private citizens and have started to occupy the space as their own.
These residents have expressed fear and are calling on the Ministry to immediately intervene and bring an end to this problem that is quickly spreading across the country.