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Lands Ministry Accused of Taking Manjang & Manneh Kunda Lands, PS Sanyang Responds 

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Buba Sanyang, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands 

By Buba Gagigo

The Ministry of Local Governments and Lands are accused of planning a demolition exercise on a private property belonging to Manjang Kunda and Manneh Kunda Families in Old Yundum.

A University student who spoke on behalf of the families told Kerr Fatou;

“This is to give you a heads-up about a corrupt and chaotic situation that is about to happen in Old Yundum. There is a land located in Old Yundum, Opposite Yarambamba, between Swami India Housing Estate and the Army Camp. This land is owned by Manjang Kunda and Manneh Kunda Family but the government through its crooked, corrupt and greedy Minister of Local Government and Lands (Abba Sanyang) wants to forcefully take this land and use it as an allocation to their families and allies of the government,” he said.

He said the Minister wants to use the name of building Permit to Demolish hundreds of structures including buildings and later use the land for their concealed plan, which he says is already known.

He said the plots and structures are bought and owned by ordinary citizens who invested their hard-earned monies to secure a shelter for themselves and their families. 

“As we speak, the corrupt Minister and his enablers in the Ministry already prepared allocation letters without having any treaty or compensation agreement with the owners, just like how white people demarcated Africa during the Berlin Conference.

“This matter is in fact currently at Brikama Magistrate Court under Justice Tabally, but the unreasonable Minister has given an order to the IGP for the demolition of these civilian properties worth millions of Dalasis. The IGP has already passed the order for demolition. This is likely going to root defiant and bloodshed situation as the people are ready to defend their properties to death. The President is aware of this situation,” he said.

On their side, the permanent secretary at the ministry of Local Government and Lands Buba Sanyang said the demolition will surely happened but Denies that the said land belongs to the Manjang Kunda and Manneh Kunda families;

PS Sanyang said the said land was a subject of a commission, and it is the commission that revert the lands to the state.

“These lands were bought from the people of Yundum by former commissioner Jagne, and they were found to have abused their office by taking these lands and the lands were revert back to the state. There is a white paper on that commission report. When the land was to revert back to the state, the state gave this land to AMRC for AMRC to manage. 

“Then AMRC take part of that land to sell. There is one Sulayman Gaye who opted for that land and bought it at time I think it was D500,000. After buying it, AMRC decided to take the land from him when the new road came. Then it went through a lot of process, the Army were involved and a lot of other people and the legal advice was sought and the ministry of Justice advised that the Land should be left with Sulayman Gaye because he is the rightful owner,” PS Sanyang told Kerr Fatou.

He said Sulayman Gaye later got a problem and fled the country because at the time the system doesn’t want him to own the land. He said after the change of government, Sulayman Gaye came back to claim for his Land. 

“He went back to court and the court said he has right to his title and he should take his Land. That was the time Sulayman Gaye’s area was given to him. But his lease was Agricultural, so government change the use for him to Residential. So in that process, Sulayman Gaye got 60 percent and government got 40 percent, but in the meantime part of Sulayman Gaye’s land was sold out by AMRC. AMRC is a state institution, so in government’s 40 percent, they decided to give Sulayman Gaye another 30 percent so that he will drop his case against AMRC. This was mutually agreed and implemented,” PS Sanyang explained.

He said the 20 percent which was left in Sulayman Gaye area was subdivided, where he said National Assembly Members were allocated lands;

“That’s where the National Assembly Members and other people were allocated at the time. But after the whole process, there was a vast land left there which was still a state land. Then the state provides layouts within those areas. The Yundum people came as traditional landowners and appealed to the state that, even they know this is State own, but they want the state to consider them by helping them with some compensation as a community and this was given out. 

“According to the claim in Yundum, the Bojang Kunda Family were the landowners of that area. Their request that was confirmed by the Chief that they own that area, and then they are engaging the state to help them to be considered, which was done. Some part of the land was given to them as a family,” PS Sanyang explained.

He explained that the remaining part of the Lands was demarcated as a layout, but some people went and sold it to estate developers;

“Some people, I don’t know whether it is Manjang Kunda, they went and sold the same land to Estate Developers and these estate developers built structures there. And the state is up large to demolish those structures. This demolition was done earlier, but it was not completed. I know the demolition will take place, but we have not set any date for it. Am not aware of the matter going to court also,” PS Sanyang concluded.

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