5 December 2012

Gambia: Is 70 Year Old Jabou's Land Reserved for Institutional Purposes?

URR — Mrs. Jabou Manneh a disgruntled 70 year old woman and a native of Basse Manneh Kunda, has expressed her disappointment and concern to this reporter that her land which is said to be reserved for institutional purposes by the regional authorities, is now being allocated to people she considered so-called APRC members who according to her are re-selling the land.

This, according to her is beyond believe and imagination. She highlighted that the land that was allocated to the rural support organization for disabled RSOD belongs to her and the family. She said the whole area was later said to be taken by the Government as a reserve land with the intention of constructing a health center. However, according to her she is surprised that the land instead of serving as a reserve land, is now being allocated to people without her consent who she alleged are now selling the plots of land given to them by an unknown person. She said she found one lamin Konteh a former market collector selling a plot of land originally part of her family land. She said when she asked him, Lamin Konteh told her that he is selling the said plot on behalf of one Kasum Sowe from Wuli. She said when she further asked him how kasum acquired the said land, Konteh said he cannot tell. She pointed out that she approached the Alkalo of Basse Manneh Kunda Mr. Alasana Manneh, concerning the said land but said the Alkalo told her that he does not know anything about the said land. Jabou, the complainant said she later met the district chief of Basse Hammeh Minteh krubally and informed him about the said land and went together with the chief to the Governor of URR, Omar Khan, who told her that the said land is a reserve land for government, but he the Governor has allocated a piece of plot for her too but she Jabou refused to take it. She said Governor Khan told her that he does not want to see her again in his office regarding the said land. This reporter approached the Alkalo of Manneh kunda Alasana Manneh for his opinion and comment regarding complaints made by Mrs. Jabou Manneh over her land, but he maintains that he does not know anything about the said land.

The Chief of Basse district was also approached but that proved futile.

When approached, the former market collector Lamin Konteh, who was said to be selling a piece of land at the same designated area to shed light on the allegation on behalf of one Kasum Sowe, he acknowledged the story but said he has returned all the compound documents to Kasum Sowe; that the he cannot continue selling the said plot of land for him since it is a disputed land.

The Regional Physical Planning Office was also approached to shed light on the concerns raised by Jabou, but Mr. Mafugi Hydara, the planning officer at the said office in Basse said he is not mandated to speak to the Press and therefore directs this reporter to consult with the Governor, who he said is the Chairman of the Regional Physical Planning Office in URR.

The Governor of URR, Alhagie Omar Khan, when approached for his comment regarding the complaint made by the old land lady, said the said land is a government reserve land but he has allocated 40 meters by 40 meters plot for Jabou the complainant but said the woman did not take the plot. He said all what he knows is that the said land is a reserve land and he is not aware of anybody selling the said land.

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