By Buba Gagigo
Sainey Sabally, twin brother of former Junta vice chair, Sanna Sabally has rebutted allegations of usurping people’s lands in his native village and conspiring with the West Region Governor to remove the previous Alkalo, Cherno Sabally.
“This is something internal. It is a Sabally kunda issue. What we are hearing from the media is conflicting. The place they said we are selling is the AFET garden where the football field is. I can remember the field was at the school, but the authorities there used to say we were disturbing them. I went to my father who was the Alkalo then, to help us with land for the field. My father identified the place but he lend us the place, but it was not given because he told us one Hamadi Sowe is the owner of the place,” Sainey Sabally explained.
Regarding the garden, he said the plot was allocated as the women’s garden following an appeal from the community when their garden was full.
“The community said the women’s garden was full and they needed another place. At the time, there was a project in the village called AFET. They were given the garden and they planted cashew trees there. The project has ended and the cashew trees filled the place. We (Sainey and Sanna) travelled that time. Hamadi Sowe’s daughter came and requested for her father’s land, but the Alkalo and some people in the village told her there is no place for her,” he continued.
Mr. Sabally claimed that Hamadi Sowe’s daughter went to the High Court, which ruled that both the field and garden belong to her.
The twin brother of former Junta vice chair, Sanna Sabally alleged that when the villagers still refused to give Hamadi Sowe’s daughter the land, she proceeded to the Supreme Court, which also ruled against Kassa Kunda and ordered the garden and the field be returned to her.
Sainey Sabally said the problem existed until he returned from exile.
“The then Governor, Lamin Sanneh called me about it. I told him I could only do one thing. That was to appeal to Hamadi Sowe’s daughter to leave the football with the youths and compensate the field with our family land; but I couldn’t do anything about the garden. Hamadi Sowe’s daughter then agreed, but they (the villagers) went back there and insulted her. That was the time Hamadi Sowe’s daughter decided to take back her land, I also told her I couldn’t do anything then,” he said.
Mr. Sabally further denied allegations that they want to usurp some of the lands belonging to the Manjakos.
“There is no Majako who will stand to say I want to take his land. I have no business in that because I have my compound. I have never sold a place in my life, and I will never sell land because I know the repercussions,” Sabally said.
He also denied allegations of suing the former Alkalo, whom he referred to as his stepfather.
“The Alkalo said we took him to court. When you check the court case against Kassa Kunda, my name is not there and Sanna’s name is not there, too. The witnesses are the residents of Kassa Kunda. And the reason he was taken to court was that the Kassa Kunda forest is a gazetted land and cannot be sold, but there were people in the community using the Alkalo because he is blind. They sold 33 of the 43 hectares of the forest. Even the residents do not know how part of the forest was sold.
“They used the pretext of developing the community. Have you seen any development here? No development. Let them go to the forest and see whether they will see my name and Sanna’s. What I know is that Sabally Kunda are the founders of this village. Can you imagine in my own village, I do not even have a single plot of land here? I do not have a problem with anyone in this village. I only have a problem with my stepfather (the sacked Alkalo). He is blind. He was taken to court on three occasions for using his stamp wrongly,” he said.
Sainey Sabally confirmed his friendship with the current West Coast Region Governor, but denied conniving with him to remove the previous Alkalo of his village.
Residents of Kassa Kunda have accused Sainey Sabally and his brother, former Junta Vice Chairman, Sanna Sabally of ‘conspiring’ with the West Coast Region Governor, Ousman Bojang to remove their Alkalo, Cherno Sabally.