Gov’t defends demolition of Sukuta-Salagi homes

Jun 4, 2020, 10:40 AM | Article By: Sulayman Waan

The Gambia government through the Ministry of Lands and Regional Governments has defended its action in demolishing built and under-construction homes in Salaji which sparked a row between people of Sukuta and Department of Physical Planning.

Weeks ago, Sukuta youth clashed with riot police after Department of Physical Planning (DPP) started demolishing dozens of homes which the department said were on state reserved lands.

However, the people of Sukuta claimed the land belongs to the community as they accused the government of visiting injustice on the community over land ownership.

Speaking to journalists in a press confab on Tuesday held in Banjul, Buba Sanyang, permanent secretary (1) at the Ministry of Lands said “the demolition was done based on legal ground.”

He cited section 22 sub-section 1 (a) of the 1997 constitution as saying “no property of any description shall be taken possession of compulsorily, and no right over or interest in any such property shall be acquired compulsorily in any part of The Gambia.”

Acquisition of state properties, he added, can only be possible on certain conditions saying “the taking of possession or acquisition is necessary in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, town and country planning, or the development or utilization of any property in such manner as to promote the public benefit;”

Speaking further, PS Sanyang said in accordance with section 5 of the State Lands Act 1991. “The districts of Kombo North, South and Central were designated as State lands with effect from 1st day of March, 1994.”

He recalled that in 2007, the DPP had addressed a letter to the Sukuta leadership informing them that the Lands Ministry had instructed it (DPP) to prepare a residential layout in Sukuta village (between Old Salagi and Patehya), adding that “the department advised the village head to avoid making any lands transaction in the designated area in order to avert future conflict.”

The expert on Lands and Regional Governments said the families that were affected in Salagi extension such as the Brufut Bojang Kunda, Jamba Kunda, Bully Kunda, Tamba Kunda, Mambuna Kunda, Kenebering kunda and Mannya kunda were compensated with plots of lands at Brusubi as indicated in the Local Government Act.

He further explained that there was a challenge in compensating the Kebba family with land, adding later on the family addressed a letter to the ministry requesting the land compensation.

PS Sanyang noted that the ministry replied to the Kebba family that: “We acknowledged that the ministry indicated in writing that the Kebba Kunda family will be compensated in accordance with land acquisition and compensation 1991. As a result, we kindly urged your client to exercise a bit of patience while we try to sort out their compensation.”

He therefore, called on all and sundry to obey the law in order to help in maintaining peace and stability in the country.

Read Other Articles In Headlines
Salieu Taal
‘State of emergency declarations not in line with constitution’
Jul 10, 2020, 11:46 AM

The Gambia Bar Association (GBA) has said that it is their view that the declaration of the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) pursuant to section 34(6) of the Constitution of The Gambia on the 10 June, 1 July and 7 July, 2020 without recourse to the National Assembly is  inconsistent with the dictates of the constitution.

Youth gambling
Rising unemployment forces youths on betting
May 5, 2021, 1:04 PM

One of the fastest ways to disintegrate a society is giving free rein to gambling and its related menaces, as it is against both Islam and Christian teachings and doctrines and as well as its norms and values.

Gambia records 3 covid-19 deaths
Feb 3, 2021, 11:53 AM

At least three new covid-19 related deaths have recorded, bringing the total number of deaths registered in the country to 131, according Health Ministry on Monday.

Mustapha Bittaye
Gambia registers 1 new case of covid-19
Apr 20, 2020, 1:04 PM

The Ministry of Health yesterday confirmed one new positive case of covid-19, bringing the total number to 10.