Mar 24, 2016 News
While they received some measure of relief in the High Court over land issues, Seafield, West Coast Berbice rice farmers may not be able to set their sight on redemption just yet.
In addition to being embroiled in a new legal battle which challenges the ruling that would allow access to lease lands seized by the Mahaica/Mahaicony/Abary Agricultural Development Authority (MM/ADA), there are reports that leases are being revoked by the APNU/AFC Government.
Last October, three farmers Phillip Johnson, Rawle Miller and Rupert Blackman had moved to the courts through Attorney Anil Nandlall after the MMA/ADA cancelled their leases for several acres of plantation lands.
In the affidavit to support their claims, the farmers had noted that under the Donald Ramotar Administration MMA/ADA had issued them leases to the State lands in 2014 after the relevant documents were filled out and the fees were paid.
The farmers lamented that they had spent monies to develop the lands and they had stayed within the boundaries of the agreement stipulated by the Agricultural body. But following the elections the MMA /ADA said the leases issued were contrary to an Order of the Court and in the circumstances, were cancelled.
In February, former Chief Justice (Ag) Ian Chang, handed down a ruling which quashed MMA/ADA‘s decision. But the ruling sparked another court case for the farmers from Seafield Cooperative Land Society (SCLS).
Seafield Cooperative Land Society is claiming that it was registered and operated before the MMA/ADA with members of the society occupying some 574 acres of the land exclusively from 1976 to 2014.
The SCLS said that the lands were issued under the People’s National Congress, (PNC) Government but in July 2014, the MMA/ADA under the PPP/C administration reclaimed it and distributed to farmers without giving the Seafield Co-operative Land Society a hearing.
Recently counsel for the group of independent farmers, Anil Nandlall, commented on the saga. He said that it is clear that executive power is being used to subvert the rule of law.
According to him, the struggle of the three small scale rice farmers has intensify with a government that is using its mighty executive powers to confiscate state lands lawfully leased to these farmers by the previous Administration. The attorney in a statement noted the court rulings are ignored, subverted and rendered impotent by those wielding executive power.
He outlined that after a full hearing, the Court quashed the alleged revocation of these leases on many grounds, including, that the MMA/ADA has no authority to cancel a lease granted by an Executive President.
“The rice farmers thought that this was the end of the matter. They were wrong. They have now been informed by, the Manager of MMA/ADA that the President has now revoked their leases. No reason was offered to them for this alleged revocation; neither were they afforded any hearing whatsoever. I wrote to (the manager) requesting a copy of this latest revocation.”
“The effect of this decision is that the said leases were never revoked and are therefore, valid and binding. The decision of the Court was not appealed.”
The attorney has vowed to explore all options legally available to ensure that the decision of the government is rescinded.
Jan 21, 2021Kaieteur News – On a slow spin-friendly LBI track, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie befuddled a Leon Johnson’s XI batting line which raised concerns as they head into next month’s Regional...
Jan 21, 2021
Jan 21, 2021
Jan 20, 2021
Jan 20, 2021
Jan 20, 2021
Kaieteur News – I had many friends among the African-Guyanese race when I was a radical activist in the era of the... more
Kaieteur News – Today, I examine the criticisms that the gas-to-shore (GTS) project lacks transparency. The fact that... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]