Steps would be taken to restore State lands gifted away by Coalition – Attorney General
Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, Hon. Mohabir Anil Nandlall SC, says the Government will continue to review land giveaway transactions under the APNU/AFC time in office.
He told the National Assembly on Monday, that the lands under review are those which were gifted away to the Coalition’s ‘friends and cronies’ without any known public process.
“Where possible we will take the requisite steps to restore those lands to the ownership of the people of this country,” the Attorney General said.
He cited instances where thousands of acres of prime State lands in Georgetown and in other areas, including ocean front and river front parcels of land, were illegally given to the friends and cronies of the Coalition.
“The Honourable members gifted BK Marine a wharf valued $40 billion for only $20 million, passing Title to him which expressly says that it is free from all liabilities, meaning that he does not have to pay a cent more and passing this Title after they lost the March 2nd 2020 elections.
Point to any Afro-Guyanese or better yet any Afro-Guyanese village that the Honourable members have spent $40 billion in over the last five years,” the AG said.
Months before the 2020 elections, AG Nandlall said the former Government distributed a few house lots in areas that were completely undeveloped and unprepared for housing. It was only when the PPP/C Government took office that infrastructural works started in those housing areas.
“They built a few duplexes which were allocated to a selected few and were so incompetent, that they did not amend the Condominium Act so those persons are left without a Title and are now paying rent to Central Housing and Planning Authority – rather than make them home owners, you made them tenants. But we will change that with a new Condominium Act,” he said.
The Attorney General also spoke about the lands that were taken away from Region Five farmers. Those farmers were in receipt of 50-year leases for rice lands issued by the Donald Ramotar administration.
The AG himself, while in Opposition, filed legal proceedings for those farmers and won on the grounds that the Mahaica Mahaicony Abary-Agricultural Development Authority could not revoke a lease issued by the President.
However, rather than accept that ruling and allow the farmers to remain on those lands, then President David Granger issued an Order revoking all those leases. Mr. Nandlall again represented the farmers, challenging President Granger’s revocation of the leases. The farmers won again in the court, and, rather than allowing the matter to rest, the then Attorney General appealed those cases.
“Mr. Speaker, the very same people that the Honourable members come here and pretend to represent… in order to take these lands from these farmers and to give it to their political hacks in Region Five, they instructed MMA/ADA to cancel all those leases,” AG Nandlall said.
When the Government took office in August last year, it found what it said was “massive land giveaways” by the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited and the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission over the last five years.
The Attorney General has said audits would be conducted by the Office of the Auditor General, following which the Guyana Police Force and the Special Organised Crime Unit would be invited to investigate.