The government intends to regularize the occupation of lands at Kingelley, West Coast Berbice “in due course.”
The plots of land are being claimed by veteran trade unionist Lincoln Lewis as ancestral lands bought by his forefathers.
At a meeting with residents on Saturday, Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall informed the residents that “from all indications, the land is State Land and that the Government will regularise their occupation in due course.”
According to Nandlall, he was approached to deal with the matter when the PPP was in Opposition and most of the residents disclosed that they have been living in the village, in their individual homes, from birth and their parents lived there as well.
“Some of them are now eighty (80) years old. In short, their occupation of that village dates back to over a century,” the statement added.
Mr. Lewis also made his claim of ownership to a Commission of Inquiry, in respect to ancestral lands established by former President David Granger and this was followed by a written statement from Mr. Nandlall on behalf of the residents and submitted to that Commission.
Additionally, Nandlall filed Applications for Prescriptive Title for more than twenty (20) of these residents and all were granted.
Some persons have received their Transport already, the Minister said in the statement.
“The Registrar of Deeds’ Report disclosed that there was no titular owner of the land. No one, including, Lincoln Lewis lodged any opposition to the Applications for Prescriptive Title as is required by the law,” Nandlall said.
Notwithstanding, Mr. Lewis continues to maintain his claim of ownership and has erected fences in certain parts of the village, in some cases, fencing off persons’ homes. In addition, he has been bullying, threatening and assaulting the residents and has been charged by the Police, Nandlall’s office stated.
The residents complained to the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Housing and Water, the Minister of Local Government and Nandlall seeking the assistance of the Government of Guyana.
Upon the instructions of President Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, the Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs, met with the residents Saturday in the company of the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Region 5.