Minister of Lands and Country Planning, Dr. Dennis Sandy has written formally to the Minister of Internal Affairs over the deployment of some police officers at a 9.5 572 acres of land at Sussex claimed by one Mohamed Wanza who is said to be residing outside Sierra Leone.
The land in question was reportedly bought by Wanza in 1990 and since then he has not developed the land which according to Dr. Dennis Sandy, is supposed to be owned by the state.
Mr. Wanza is believed to have produced his documents regarding his ownership of that land coupled with court rulings in his favor in respect of the land but the minister has damned all those documents on the grounds that they were not authentic.
According to Dr. Sandy, his ministry has checked properly to ascertain if really that land belongs to Mr. Wanza whom he said is not supposed to own land in this country because he does not reside here as provided in the laws of the country. In spite of the tussle between the two parties, police officers have been deployed on the land as a means of protection against being grabbed by the ministry.
The Minister informed this medium that he has written a letter to his colleague minister to have the officers removed from the land so that he can have an easy access to the land. He said they are going to reclaim all the state land grabbed over the years in the peninsular.
In another development, the Head Woman of Regent Village, Madam Metzeger, has criticized the ministry of Lands and Country Planning for allowing people to build houses in reserved areas at Regent. She said people’s livelihood is being affected seriously as gardeners have no more space to farm as it used to be. She said most houses are left with no space to build toilets because of the mad rush for land in that part of the country.
Political observers opined that there is conflict of interest when it comes to the issue of land among officials in this SLPP government. They believe that the measures put in place by the former APC government to sanitize Western Rural District reserves, have not been followed strictly by the current administration. The Chairman of the Western Rural District, Kasho Holland-Cole, is said to be having his hands tied behind his back in relation to enforcement.
Meanwhile, the Conservation Society of Sierra Leone has been calling on the government to protect the country’s reserves and natural habitats. The society has expressed the need for the planting of more trees to prevent environmental disaster.