Much has been in the media recently on land acquisition. Both political sides accuse each other of giving away precious land while enriching the recipients and themselves (the politicians). The country (the lower and middle classes and the lumpen) suffers while the politically connected enrich themselves. The nation (middle and lower class voters) need to take matters in their own hands – hold the politicians accountable. Hold back your vote and demand fairness in the distribution of land. The rich should not get almost all available land and the poor get almost nothing.
Both political sides are guilty of abusing the process of land grants (sale) giving away (leasing) or selling precious land to the big guys (the crooked) who use the land to enrich themselves, building houses or extracting resources that are exported.
It is true that the rich add value to almost worthless land. But the middle and lower classes should also be given equal opportunity to develop (add value to) the land. The middle and lower classes and/or community groups (small businesses) should also be given opportunities to enrich themselves like the fat cats and the political elite.
It is noted that those who fought the dictatorship and championed democracy, and have fought against corruption, experience extreme difficulty to get a house lot, much less land to enrich themselves like the fat cats or the corrupt. They are told in no uncertain terms that there is no land for them because of political neutrality or honesty. I know of decent colleagues (from the diaspora and in Guyana) who fought the dictatorship and applied for a house lot since the 1990s and are still waiting for it.
So many showed me housing lot applications that are over a decade old, some over 20 years old. Their crime is they fought against the dictatorship and corruption.
Imagine that you fought against the dictatorship sacrificing over two decades of your life and you liberated the country, but you can’t qualify for a house lot or a few acres to improve your living condition or have a roof over your head for your family or self and progeny.
It is noted that those who did not fight the dictatorship, and/or worse, supported the dictatorship, have been richly rewarded, acquiring huge tracts of land from which they have become multi-millionaires (some even billionaires) in American dollars. The anti-dictatorial activists and the working class are victimized for their honesty and democratic values – sorry, no land for you.
The fat cats and politically connected and those giving bribes easily acquire lands; they enrich themselves at the expense of the honest and the rest of the nation. The lower class and the landless have encountered daily difficulty to get a house lot much less a few acres to grow food or engage in a small business.
I routinely passed in front of the Ministry of Communities (Housing) and observed long lines for a house lot. I heard and felt the frustration of the poor and the working class to get a lot going back almost two decades; I saw copies of many applications and letters from Housing. The hard working middle class and the poor have been told you have to wait for land because none is available for you. Some people complained that they were even forcefully pushed out of the Ministry or compound, and even insulted.
They complained that the corrupt got (and still get) land quickly. They complained that if you have money for bribes and or you are (were) politically connected, there was (is) endless amount of lands available for you.
It is the people’s fault that they can’t get a piece of land (for housing or farming or a small business) that actually belongs to them. The people need to hold their representatives accountable – demand that they commit to giving you a fair share (lot) of the land of the nation.
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