Relief Council rebukes Banks DIH over talks of acquisition of property

The Guyana Relief Council (GRC) has criticised Banks DIH over the recent statements made by Mar-keting Manager George McDonald about the beverage giant’s interest in acquiring the land being occupied by the charity near Thirst Park.

Last Saturday, McDonald, addressing those in attendance at the opening of the company’s New Vehicle Workshop at the Caribanks facility, explained that Banks DIH’s operations had outgrown Thirst Park, and so more space was needed to facilitate its growth.

As a result, he indicated the company’s interest in acquiring the nearby lot—occupied by the GRC—as part of its plans for expansion.

But according to a letter sent yesterday to the Banks DIH by attorney Anil Nandlall on behalf of the GRC, which owns the property in question, it was “shocked” by McDonald’s reported statements.

“…the Executive and members of my client find it deeply offensive and indeed, feel threatened by your company’s public pronouncements of an intention to acquire my client’s property without a word of engagement with my client,” Nandlall stated in the letter, before going on to make an appeal for the company to desist from making such statements regarding the GRC.

The correspondence, which was copied to Stabroek News, called “disturbing” a reported statement from McDonald, in which he said that Banks DIH was “calling on the powers that be” to consider their request to move to the space next door. McDonald had added that the company was prepared to “offer alternative accommodation at another suitable site without any dislocation of current operations.”

Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who spoke after McDonald at the event, had noted that while he was “not the power that be,” he had heard the request and was sure that the company and government can work together to achieve a reasonable outcome.

“My client views your appeal to the “powers that be” as a not so veiled but grave threat [to] their right to own property and the protection of that property against compulsory acquisition or unlawful expropriation by the State—all of which are guaranteed as fundamental rights and freedoms under Article 142 of the Constitution of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana,” Nandlall pointed out in the letter.

“Please be assured that any attempt to unlawfully interfere with my client’s quiet and peaceful enjoyment and occupation of the said property or any attempt to unlawfully enter upon, compulsorily acquire, expropriate or confiscate the same, will be met with the full force of the law,” he added.

Furthermore, the attorney made clear when contacted yesterday that the owners are not prepared to sell their land.

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