Still can’t get licence for land

Dear Editor,

I have written several times before to your paper in connection with a breach of my legitimate expectation caused by some members of the MMA/ADA with respect to two leases for land situated at Onverwagt, West Coast Berbice in the name of my son Mark Drakes and I. This was after payment was made in full at the request of the MMA/ADA by way of a notice asking for payment of current charges for the granting of a licence for a 25-year lease. This, however, never materialized despite several requests and constant enquiries reminding them. Each time the request was ignored, and they failed to realize that without a licence or other form of document to show ownership of land, you cannot obtain a loan from a lending institution.

It was not a case that I had a fanciful or forlorn expectation with respect to the lease, since I had been in occupation of those tracts of land for seven years and had been issued with an annual licence showing continued ownership to cultivate and reap, etc.

Instead, the authority did me the honour of taking me to court for a payment that they could not justify, and had it withdrawn after it was deemed to be unconstitutional and a breach of my fundamental rights.

Since my last letter which was published on Monday December 30, 2002 (‘I am a farmer whatever MMA/ADA may say’) that outlined the full details of my story and to which a response was given that it would be addressed at the appropriate time, I was served with an eviction notice dispossessing me of the lands dated May 3, 2007. It was done in bad faith because discussions were ongoing with the general manager and he had replied afterwards in a letter dated July 9, 2008.

However, a committee was set up to look into the discrepancy because it became a national issue as hundreds of farmers fell victim to this kind of treatment meted out to them by the MMA/ADA for different reasons.

I met with the committee on Saturday, September 20, 2008 at the Novar Secondary School. It was chaired by Mr Andrew Bishop and the committee members included Ms Jennifer Wade, MP from the PNCR and the General Manager of MMA/ADA, Mr Aubrey Charles and others.

There I repeated my story yet again and presented all the relevant original receipts. Many questions were put to the General Manager who gave no response, and I was then asked to submit a copy to him at his office. This was done on October 3, 2008. Much to my dismay this again did not bring about the closure that I expected as nothing further has been heard to date.

My question to all concerned is why a matter which reflects such blatant injustice cannot be given a speedy and just decision. All the blame lies squarely at the feet of the MMA/ADA which they cannot refute.

Yours faithfully,
B Drakes

Editor’s note

We are sending a copy of this letter to General Manager of the MMA/ADA, Mr Aubrey Charles, for any comments he might wish to make.

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