Bartica Overseer acted within the law to remove couple who were operating an illegal business

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to Mr Winston Miller’s letter in SN, July 16, captioned ‘Bartica NDC should be replaced with an interim body.’

The Bartica NDC operates within the confines of the Local Government Act Chapter 28:02. Part XII which deals with offences, at paragraph 143 states that where a person occupies, without permission any land or building owned by or under the control of a Local Authority or the Minister, he shall quit the land or building on being required so to do by the Local Authority or the Minister as the case may be, and if he fails so to do, he shall be liable to a fine of the court’s determination or to imprisonment for one month.

Now the active arm or officer of any local authority is the overseer.

The man and his wife whom Miller referred to, had without the local authority’s permission or license to sell, constructed his tent of business halfway on the private property referred to, and half on the council’s parapet leading to the road.

The owner of the land visited the Chairman’s office and vigorously declared she has not given nor will she give the man or his wife any written permission to do any business on her property.

The Overseer sent him a letter by hand on June 21, 2011 instructing him to close his business immediately and apply to the council for permission to sell his goods, which would have been a temporary arrangement once council approved same. He refused to close off his business and sent a letter four days after seeking permission.

This was unacceptable, for he in his illegal state showed total disregard for the contents of the 1etter he received. The Overseer then verbally informed him she will be going there to close him off, which she did nearly one week after telling him.

Upon her arrival with the police and a rural constable present to ensure the peace, she and her staff began packing his goods in bags at which time he and his wife vacated the scene. The man later returned and took down a bag from the ceiling of the tent opened it and declared he lost $2 million in cash.

After packing all the goods and being about to dismantle the tent the Overseer took the bag down which the man had returned to the ceiling and opened the same in the presence of the police and rural constable, who were witnesses to just cosmetics being inside.
This bag the Overseer lodged at the Bartica Police Station for safe keeping and the goods she locked up in the NDC boardroom for safe keeping until he pays the cost of its removal which will cover transportation and handling. Whenever he does this his goods will be returned to him.

Now as for the rest of Mr Miller’s thoughts, he has his grievances and has chosen to express them.

He should also let the public know he lives at an illegal structure, carries on an illegal business and is not a ratepayer.  The council at its statutory meeting had decided to close Mr Miller’s illegal business when an official (name given) asked for one week (last year) for him to get his papers in order, which is still outstanding.

Yours faithfully,
Gerald Joseph
Chairman
BNDC
Region Seven

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