Four of 7 Mocha squatters accept offer to relocate, all structures demolished

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By Isanella Patoir

Isanella@newsroom.gy

The Housing Ministry on Thursday managed to successfully demolish the remaining illegal structures at Mocha / Cane View, East Bank Demerara that were in the path of the four-lane highway from Eccles to Great Diamond.

It was a tense situation in the community as the remaining seven defiant squatters reportedly set an excavator on fire using channa bombs during the demolition exercise by the Housing Ministry.

Police fired tear gas and the stand-off between the authorities and the squatters lasted for hours. In the end, four of the seven squatters who refused to relocate, accepted the government’s offer to occupy move-in ready, single flat two-bedroom houses at Diamond.

Joyann Alexis Ellis, Mark Gordan, Leon Liefde and Lovella Doris accepted the offer on Thursday.

Three other squatters, Junior Ellis, Anneita Beaton and Sheldon Eastman are still refusing to relocate from the area and are demanding millions of dollars and farmlands from the government.

One of the squatters who took up the offer spoke with the News Room and said while she is happy to move into her new home, she is sad about how the situation turned out.

“I feel good and a bit sad, you understand because a lot of things have been damaged for me, but I feel good I move into my own house,” the woman who prefers to remain anonymous, told the News Room. She claims that her chair set, fridge, mattress and carpet were all damaged during the demolition.

A demolished structure at Mocha

The situation remained tense for hours after the squatters set the demolition equipment on fire.

Persons were seen removing their belongings from the houses before the demolition. Their clothing, furniture and other items were laid out along the street opposite the squatting area and on the squatting site.

The bridge that provided access to the area was also broken down.

According to the squatter who relocated, they were always ready to move but had no engagement from the government.

“I fed up running to Housing, I wasn’t getting any answer, but I finally get an answer, I running over a year to Housing,” the woman related.

The excavator set on fire after the demolition of houses at Mocha Arcadia squatting area

She said that the government reached out to her twice and that she was never given notice to relocate from the area.

“Nobody is not refusing to leave; everybody wants to leave. Housing has to go and sit down and talk with them, that is all I can say. My friends and family, they want to leave but where are they going to graze their cattle?” the woman asked.

It should be noted that the government has been engaging the squatters for over a year and while the majority have relocated after receiving compensation for their houses, the seven persons remained in the community and are demanding exorbitant relocation fees.

The squatter who relocated on Thursday said the clash with police has left her nine-year-old daughter traumatised.

“She was crying bitter tears because the house was being broken, I had to send her to her grandmother,” the woman said.

The News Room understands that the three remaining squatters are set to meet with the Ministry of Housing and Water on Friday.

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.

The squatters who relocated 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.

1 Comment
  1. Francine says

    so how this stupid Flue – bess lady feel..
    telling lies to the public.. for an Mp they should lock your ass up ..

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