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NASSIT under financial pressure over Maxwell Khobe Park in Bo

BY PAT KAWA IN BO

The Provincial Secretary South, Mr. Jacob Quee has requested NASSIT officials to submit to the Regional Surveyor Michael Simbo all relevant documents relating to the acquisition of a piece of land at the Maxwell Khobe Park in Bo where a shopping Mall is currently being constructed by NASSIT.

 The request was made at a meeting by former Cotton Tree Community Members, Momoh Gbotor land owning family, NASSIT, Civil Society, and the Bo City Council at the Conference Hall of the Provincial Secretary’s Office Tikonko Road in Bo.

 Addressing his audience, Mr. Jacob Quee expressed dissatisfaction over the conspicuous absence of the Momoh Gbotor land owning family and the Bo City Council at the meeting. He said the meeting was conveyed to investigate a report submitted to the Resident Minister South Hon. Moijueh Kaikai by the former inhabitants of the Cotton Tree Community regarding what they referred to as the illegal demolition of their legitimate dwelling houses allegedly authorized by the Bo City Council.

The Provincial Secretary referred to a correspondence from the aggrieved party indicating that a parcel of land situated adjacent the site where NASSIT shopping Mall was reclaimed by the Momoh Gbotor land owning family from Government as a result of non- payment of the lease rents for a considerable period of time.

 Mr.Jacob Quee explained that there is no way that the Momoh Gbotor family could not have reclaimed the land under review from Government without authentic documentation. He said all state lands are government property and that whoever thinks he should reclaim any portion of it should not hesitate to come forward and present his documents and make his claim to the Provincial Secretary for prompt action, and warned those claiming government lands to desist forthwith as they will not go scot free even when their own generation would have passed away. He added that the entire transaction between the Momoh Gbotor family and the former Cotton Tree Community members was a relaxed one.

Speaking on behalf of the former Cotton Tree Community Members, Mr. John Freeman who claimed to have spent thirty-five years on the land disclosed that the struggle started in 2008 when the Bo City Council presented to NASSIT the Maxwell Khobe Park plan for the purpose of implementing a development project for the people of Bo. He said the cotton tree inhabitants where notified through radio to meet with the Chief Administrator of the Bo City Council, during which the issue of demolition was discussed, adding that they were ordered to give up the land or Council will go ahead with the exercise and demarcate the land.

According to Mr. John Freeman several proposals presented to the Chief Administrator for an amicable settlement of the matter proved unsuccessful which prompted a request for cash compensation as the last resort. He emphasized that although they are not against any form of development project, they will not at the same time cherish their forceful evacuation from a piece of land they had legitimately acquired which prompted them to contact the Resident Minister on the matter.

NASSIT representative Mr. Mohamed Bangalie refused making comments claiming that the land was giving to NASSIT BY the Bo City Council. Others who made meaningful contributions according to the Government Information Services GIS in Bo were the Regional Surveyor, Mr. Michael Simbo and the Chairman of the Bo Civil Society Group, Mr. Alex Nallo who informed the body that he was merely playing a mediation role.

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