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KENEMA COUNCIL CHALENGES ILLEGAL LANDS DEMOLITION

MAYOR SAYS WE ARE EMBARRASSED

FAYIA AMARA FAYIA

The untimely and politically mis-guided demolition exercise engaged by the current minister of Lands Housing and Country Planning is fast becoming an embarrassment not only for the Political Party in Governance also for the leadership and Government. The exercise is not only receiving condemnation from the public, but also from some foreign diplomats who are reportedly not happy with what they have described as un-developmental activities of the Ministry.

Kenema on Saturday 18th May 2013 received its own share of an action that was backed with no legal authority. The Kenema City Council Administration has distanced itself from the illegal action and has further challenged its. The Chief Administrator of the Council in an emergency stakeholders meeting held at the Council Main Hall described the action of the Ministry of Lands Housing and Environment as unfortunate and went on to describe it an embarrassment to the entire council, especially when the Council was not giving prior notice.  Mr. Bockarie Gboanie has said that the demolition of structures put up by traders to run their private businesses was done to generate revenue to take care of their families as most of them are unemployed, because of job scarcity.

“These people created jobs for themselves so that they could fend, take care of their homes and not resort to stealing or unlawful means, but from all indications it now appears that Government wants them on the streets again or commit offences that may see them behind bars. He explained that the business community is one of the major sources of Council revenue generation outfit, noting that such exercise without proper planning and coordination has the potential to undermine the smooth running of the Council and even peace.

The Mayor of the Kenema City Council, Mr. Joseph Kelfala apologized to the affected traders and thanked them for remaining peaceful and courageous for the suffering and loss incurred as a result of the illegal demolition inflicted on them.

He promised them that Council is going to negotiate with a group of land owning families and other relevant stakeholders in a bid to look out for alternative space to relocate the traders. Mayor Kelfala said that Local Councils are the highest political entities in their regions and as such there is every need for any ministry intending to carry out any action, whether legal or illegal to inform and involve the councils.

“We have been totally embarrassed by the unlawful action of the  Minister of Lands, Hon. Musa Tarawallie and his officials in Kenema by their actions, which showed no respect and regard for the council and poor traders” He remarked, and went on “The action, he repeats; has the tendency to undermine the administration of the Council”. He called on the Trader’s Union Executives to continue talking to the people to maintain peace and exercise maturity and patience while they look out for a venue to relocate them.

Meanwhile, reports state that the traders are suffering and have no good comments for the APC Government.

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