AG Williams commits to solving land issues in Haslington

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― community meeting held to address matters

― AG Williams cautions against house demolition without court orders

DPI, Guyana, Monday, April 8, 2019

Scores of residents from the North-Haslington and North-Enmore villages turned out to a meeting hosted by Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Basil Williams SC., to express their frustrations over numerous property ownership issues.

The neighbourhood’s Co-operative Society, whose executive body that has been in existence since the previous administration in 2000, bears the responsibility for collection of dues and issuance of house lots, along with providing transports for lands, as prescribed by Chapter 88:01 of the Laws of Guyana: Cooperative Societies Act. The latter has been of major concern to residents since the transport for lots that were legally inhabited for decades were given to other persons. Hence, the Cooperative Society has been under criticisms since these acts have brought on a barrage of legal battles.

With this in mind, the Coalition Government instituted an Interim Management Committee (IMC) in September 2018 to assess the current state of affairs of the Co-operative Society and to assist in its management.

“My task will be to examine each case, and ease case’s peculiar facts to see how they fit within the legal framework of the law governing co-operatives in Guyana… and see how best we can resolve them”, the Attorney General said.

He emphasised the need for a collaborative effort in resolving the legal issues. Thus, he reaffirmed the government’s dedication to working with the Interim Management Committee (IMC), Chief Co-operative Development Officer (CCDO), and the immediate past executive body of the Co-operative Society to regularise the current situation.

Many persons in attendance complained that transports for their land in which they have occupied for decades were given to the wrongful owner. Some of these persons noted their houses were demolished as a result of the alleged unlawful issuance of transports by the Co-operative Society.

To this end, the Attorney General cautioned, “buildings ought not to be dismantled unless there is a court order to deal with those issues. Most of these matters should have been taken to the court to prevent the destruction to property… We will have to deal with these situations and resolve to reach an outcome that is satisfactory to everyone.”

Names of those present who had grievances were taken by the Attorney General’s team with the intent to investigate and resolve their individual issues. Minister within the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Karen Cummings was also in attendance to listen to the residents’ concerns since she is also a resident of Haslington.

Shaquille Bourne.

Images: Leon Leung.