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The IAAD strongly condemns the Government’s plan to dissolve cooperative societies ‘that have not been cultivating land for a long time.’ The nation was informed of this diabolic plan by the Minister of Labour Joseph Hamilton on Monday, January 23, 2023. We deemed this move as a direct assault on our cultural heritage and a concerted effort by the ruling cabal to further emasculate members of those societies who are predominantly African descendants. Ever since the abolition of slavery African Guyanese have effectively used the co-op mechanism to improve their socioeconomic status. We ask the government, not to dissolve these societies but to aid them in their quest to become viable and compliant.
The issue of land tenure is contentious and sensitive and may lead to social and political instability. Moreover, we remind the government that land tenure security encapsulates the protection of occupants from forced eviction and demand that the principle of rule of law is observed. More specifically, land tenure security can be viewed as the degree of confidence individuals and groups enjoy in maintaining access to, use of and control over land.
Finally, we ask the government to re-examine its approach with a view to de-escalating any unintended and negative outcome.