‘Don’t be used as political tools’ – Pres. Ali urges Mocha squatters to take govt’s land & housing offer

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Seven Mocha Arcadia/Cane View, East Bank Demerara (EBD) squatters lie in the way of a new highway but President Dr. Irfaan Ali is urging them to move, not only because that highway will benefit thousands of commuters but also because the government is offering a much-better compensatory package that includes titled land and completed houses.

“All of Guyana, any reasonable person, can understand what the government is offering above and beyond,” President Ali said during a live address to the nation on his Facebook page on Thursday.

He emphasised that the government’s offer, which is free of cost, allows those individuals to move from illegal settlements to legal ownership of lands.

This, he said, will benefit them significantly.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali during his live address (Photo: January 5, 2023)

“There is no political mileage or any opportunism than can be extracted from this.

“I ask and I urge these families not to be used as political tools and pawns of a few who are only angry about the development of our country,” the President said, in apparent response to support for continued squatting from members of the APNU+AFC opposition.

Aside from this offer for the seven individuals, the Guyanese Head of State reminded the public that 28 families who had settled along the alignment of the highway have relocated to nearby residential areas and have rebuilt new homes through government compensation, however, seven individuals remain on the land.

They have been offered full compensation for their existing illegal property, a free residential house lot, a grace period to facilitate the construction of their new house and five acres each of lease lands by the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission.

But they have refused these offers.

A house being demolished by an excavator at Mocha squatting area

Based on information provided by the Ministry of Housing and Water, Central Housing and Planning Authority, the “informal settlers” are demanding an aggregate of $595 million for properties valued at approximately $56.5 million.

On Thursday, the situation at the squatting area took a turn for the worse as the squatters hurled explosives at machine operators and police officers during a demolition exercise.

The President said that these squatters are being misled and used “opportunistically” as political pawns.

Dr. Ali pleaded with them to accept the government’s offer of a better life, stating that even now, the offer of titled land and completed houses remains available.

2 Comments
  1. Matthew says

    595 million for squatting illegally? Any cut for lawyers and advisors ?

  2. Derk says

    ‘The only thing to do with good advice is to pass it on.It is never of any use to oneself.’ Oscar Wilde.

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