Stronger protest action is needed to ensure improvement to the Linden-Kwakwani Road, according to Region 10 Chairman, Sharma Solomon.
More than twenty persons, including a fifteen-year-old boy, who were charged in relation to protest action against the poor state of the road during September last year are slated to reappear in the Christianburg Magistrate’s Court, Linden, on January 22.
Solomon in making the disclosure at the first Statutory Meeting of the Region Ten Regional Democratic Council for 2014 on Thursday, called for members of the council and the people of Region Ten to support “those under prosecution”.
Noting that the road has become worse due to continuous heavy rainfall since the September protest, Solomon said the people of Kwakwani and Ituni had demonstrated against the state of the road in September and “the deterioration of the road shows a lack of respect for the people on the part of the government”.
“We’ll have to take some stronger action,” the Regional Chairman said,” to ensure that the people of Sub Region Two after so many decades get a better road. I guess the September protest was not strong enough,” he added. “We’ll have to take stronger action …. I don’t think it is anything outside of their constitutional right; any other citizen anywhere in this country deserves to have a good, decent living and the people of Sub Region two are entitled to a good decent living. That road has been bad for too long. We have to get that road fixed and we don’t think it is within the Region’s capacity based on budgetary allocation to fix that road. It’s a national disaster.
“You have sick people, who are travelling on that road and they become even more sick and die in the use of that road. I’m saying this publicly, we will recommit to a strategy to ensure that that road is fixed. People have demonstrated that they are prepared to even face prosecution.
They have to go back to court on the 22nd (January) to deal with it. We will have to stand shoulder to shoulder with them and ensure that they win.
“The people want the situation changed where they have good roads to conduct their daily lives and we will have to ensure that is so. The people showed that they were serious about the issue in September and they were dragged before the courts. Now that they are before the court, they are even more serious. I ask this council to give them our support.”
During the RDC meeting, Councillor Charles Sampson said for over thirty years people have been wasting time talking about the Linden-Kwakwani Road. He said that he could also talk of the Rockstone to Mabura road and all the roads going to Mahdia. According to him, unless the PPP/C government changes its policy in relation to the development of the country’s hinterland there will not be any improvement in those roads. “The government has to change its policy towards roads,” Sampson insisted. “They have no intention of doing those roads – and those are political decisions.” He further said that Parliamentarians have to pick up the issue.
Sampson added: “No senior government officials lives in Ituni, Kwakwani and other hinterland areas so, they don’t care about those places.”
One person was fined $10,000 and fourteen others placed on $5,000 bail when the protestors first appeared in the Christian-burg Magistrate’s Court on September 4th 2013, to answer charges of wilful obstruction of a public way, unlawful assembly and loitering.