Lands Minister says he is Unperturbed

Minister of Land, Dr. Denis Sandy

By Foday Moriba Conteh

Following the widespread condemnation spewed against the Minister of Land, Dr. Denis Sandy, in his strides to execute his responsibilities that fall under his mandate this medium became so interested in the ongoing hue and cry relating to land issues and so therefore decided to engage the Minister in order to sound his reactions.

In an exclusive interview, the Minister intimated how he is the type of personality that could be best described as a hands-on Minister as he involves himself in even delegated responsibilities just to make sure that they are done.

“Since I was appointed Minister of Lands and Country Planning, I have not got time to sit and relax a bit because of the headaches that I found in this Ministry,” he intimated revealing how he works up to night hours as he tries to address the problems of land and land grabbing in the country.
He said despite the sterling efforts he has been taking to address the land problems in the country they seem not to be going away because of the dubious acts of certain civil servants in the Ministry.

Asked whether he is perturbed by the various criticisms bordering around his overzealousness to reclaim State land with some saying he is too aggressive the Lands Minister told our reporter that whatever action he is taking is supported by evidence and statutory authority of the Ministry. He said that some families are claiming historical ownership to 80 to 100 acres of land without proper documentation; there are some people with documents but no land; and non-citizens acquiring huge portions of land to the disadvantage of citizens.

He underscored how everybody wants land saying it is a whole industry that is challenging, chaotic and dirty.

“The land space in the Western Area has been squeezed over time. Our approach has been aggressive. Sometimes we have to behave abnormally for the benefit of the country and its citizens,” Dr. Sandy underscored adding that under his leadership there is not going to be business as usual.

From an in-depth investigation undertaken by this medium, in the Ministry of Lands there are surveyors and there are land guards who are civil servants and who are supposed to protect the interests of Government but this Press discovered to its horror that these very surveyors and land guards are allegedly the root causes of the problems in that Ministry while at the same time they themselves are the problems.

The work of land guards, according to findings, is to identify all Government owned lands all over the country and after that identification then the surveyors come in to survey those pieces of land.
It again came out glaringly that land disputes forms the highest number of cases in the courts as the alleged dishonesty between land guards and surveyors become more pronounced.

This Press has found that the problems start right from the identification stage. Land Guards will leave spaces in the pie charts and then report the remaining pieces of land to Government.
The areas left out will not be surveyed by Government surveyors who will then conspire with the land guards to sell those pieces of land that have been erased from the pie charts.
It is evidently clear then that when Government tries to regain its own property then the clashes will arise and cause problems.
A top official of the Ministry stated how they have made requests to the relevant Ministries to transfer those civil servants who have complicated things in his Ministry.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here