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– coalition sees sinister plot to hand lands to private developers
The government’s plan to hand back citizens who have made down payment for house lots their money has been met with fierce resistance who said that the move is part of a sinister plot of gifting lands to private developers.
At a meeting in Region Five this week, Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal said that persons who had paid 50% down payment for house lots would be refunded their money as his government pursue a different path in housing development.
In a statement issued on Thursday in an attempt to clarify the issue the m ministry said it has commenced a review exercise for questionable allocations made, following complains by allottees that they feel duped out of their hard-earned monies for lands they are still to identify.
“The issue was brought to attention of the subject Minister, Collin Croal, on Wednesday August 26, 2020 as he was conducting a series of community meetings in the West Berbice Region. Initial checks into these recent allocations have revealed that the ownership of these lands by our agency remains in limbo. This is compounded by the fact that these lands have no infrastructure in place and allottees cannot even identify their lots.”
The ministry said given the time frame when these allocations were made, the assumption can be made that these allocations were a mere political gimmick. “Until such time when the review process is completed in the best interest of our citizens, a decision has been taken to simply put a hold on accepting payments for these allocations. The ministry nonetheless remains committed to the delivery of serviced lots, with all basic infrastructures in place, inclusive of fair weather access road, water distribution network, electrical network as well as drainage network. We therefore want to reassure all applicants that the status of their applications will in no way be affected and they will be processed in due time,” the release stated.
Meanwhile, seizing on the statement by Croal in Region Five, the APNU+AFC coalition says the PPP ‘government’ continues its “abusive attack on the working men and women of Guyana.”
“The APNU+AFC Coalition calls on the illegal PPP government to cease and desist from their continued assault on the working people of Guyana. The persons targeted by the PPP applied for and were granted lands from the State. This was a legal process that must be honoured,” the statement added. “APNU+AFC is aware that there was Cabinet approval for lands to be transferred from the National Industrial and Commercial Investment Limited (NICIL) to the CH&PA. Further, we know that this process was in the final stage of transfer and the lands were allocated for housing development. The monies collected by the CH&PA (which the PPP now wants to refund) were budgeted for land development. It is therefore a lie for the PPP to say to these Guyanese who have already made their down payment, that lands are not available. Lands are available!”
The coalition said it is aware too that Croal’s plan is part of a sinister plot to gift state lands to developers who are supporters of the PPP and also, to change the ethnic demographic of the Demerara-Mahaica Region so as to influence the upcoming local government elections. “For any government to say that they are reneging on their contractual obligation to conclude the purchase of state lands to poor people is unacceptable. Infrastructure development is a governmental responsibility. It is clear that the motives of the PPP are political and illegal. We are convinced that this is meant to dislocate poor people who the PPP perceive to be Coalition supporters and engage in gerrymandering.”
The APNU+AFC said when it entered office in May 2015, there were over 25,000 house-lot applications ‘in the system’ (persons who had applied for lands). Most of these persons had been waiting for more than ten years. “Therefore, for this illegal PPP government to tell working Guyanese that they will deny them their right to land and home-ownership, by returning their names to the ‘system’, is ludicrous and will not be accepted.”
“APNU+AFC will stand with all Guyanese who are being victimised by the illegitimate PPP regime. The APNU+AFC calls on the PPP to stop its campaign of harassment of the working men and women of Guyana.
The APNU+AFC will not sit idly by and watch its supporters or any Guyanese being targeted for political persecution by a ‘government’ that was installed into office on the basis of fraud. Never, never, never again, shall the PPP be allowed free reign and Guyana experience their systematic oppression and ethnic victimization,” the statement added.