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In simmering land dispute

Feb 22, 2010, 1:58 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

Governor Khan Set Records Straight

The Governor of the Upper River Region, Alhagie Omar A Khan  has set the records straight as some members of Suso Kunda family in Basse Mansajang Kunda claimed ownership of their traditional land.

When contacted to shed light on the issue, the Governor of the Upper River Region, Omar A. Khan, said the area does not belong to Suso Kunda family of Mansajang Kunda, but a government reserve land, which was there before he became the Governor of the region.

Governor Khan said only five people in the region were allocated plots at the area for settlement, including Kebba Suso, the father to Mustapha Suso, at no cost.

Governor Omar A. Khan further revealed that, Kebba Suso, the father to Mustapha Suso instead sold his plot of land to one Sarjo Jallow of Sare Mamadi in Tumana District.

According to him, the following were given a plot of land by the planning authority: Aji Fatou Nanna Conteh of Gambisara, Mawdo Suso of Simoto Touba, Oustass Kebba Gaye, the Imam of civil servant mosque, Modou Penda Gaye and Kebba Suso of Basse Mansajang Kunda.

However, Mustapha Suso said the land in question which is situated at Basse Mansajang Kunda, a few meters away from the Regional Fire and Ambulance Services Headquarters belongs to them. According to him, they have been tilling the land since from time immemorial.

Mr. Suso said sometimes in 2006, the Governor of URR, Omar A. Khan had approached them to use the said land as a government reserve, a proposal the family consented to. He said to the surprise of all the land was instead sold to individuals for residential purposes, all of whom, he said have already built structures there.

Mr. Suso said the fact that they were robbed of the said land under the pretext that government wanted to use it as a reserve land, but instead turned out the opposite, they decided to reclaim it.

Kebba Suso, for his part, said Suso Kunda family of Mansajang Kunda are the traditional owners of the said land, refuting Governor’s claim that it belongs to them.

He also denied selling his plot of land to one Sarjo Jallow of Sare Mamadi village in Tumana District of URR as claimed by Governor Khan

Also, one of the beneficiaries of the said land, Ms. Aji Fatou Nanna Conteh, said the area was given to her, at no cost by Governor Khan.