Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission reclaims 8 Acre land in KenemaApril 2, 2016
By Mustapha Sesay
A letter dated 15th February 2016 from the Government of Sierra Leone, Office of the Vice President, OAU Drive, Tower Hill to the Minister of State East, Provincial Secretary’s Office Kenema has revealed that according to records available the parcel of land situated and laying at Blama Road in Kenema occupied by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security was lawfully acquired by the Ahmadiyya Mission.
The letter titled RE: LAND BOUGHT BY THE AHMADIYYA MISSION, further noted that the Honourable Vice President Dr. Victor Bockarie Foh is requesting the Minister of State East to please ensure that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission undertakes the construction of a school and hospital on the said piece of land without let or hinderance.
`It could be recalled that Saeed-ur-Rahman Amir & Missionary in charge wrote to His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma on the issue: Land bought by Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission (Kenema)
The letter reveals that a 32.5 acre land situate and lying alongside Blama Road in Kenema occupied by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security was leased to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in 1969 by P.C. Foray Vangahun III and the principal men of the Nongowa Chiefdom in Kenema District.
In 1974, the Chinese Technical Team occupied part of this land after the Mission had done the clearing of the land. Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission continued to pay lease rent from 1969 to 2010 for the same land.
In 2012, the Mission again requested the Ministry of Agriculture & Food Security to return part of this land to them. After several meetings with the then Hon. Minister of Agriculture & Food Security, a joint agreement was then made between the Ministry and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission for the return of ten (10) acres of the land to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission
Furthermore, after this agreement the whole Chinese Farm Land was resurveyed by the Government Surveys Department, witnessed by the landowners and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission, based on the instructions from the Ministry of Agriculture. Only eight (8) instead of ten (10) acres were allocated to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission. Without argument, the Mission accepted and documented the portion given to it at its own expense. The Mission has gone into agreement with the landowners for a freehold; a full payment had already been made and the plans and conveyance to the effect prepared and registered.
After undergoing all these processes and spending huge sums of money, the Mission started putting up structures for a girls’ secondary school and a community health centre, but was stopped again by the Ministry of Agriculture. This was considered to be not in the interest of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and the Ahmadiyya Mission was very much unhappy and discouraged over this disappointment.
“We still want to continue the work on the land. For this reason, we want you fatherly intervention”, the letter reads.
On the 14th December, 2013, the Secretary to the President Mr. Saidu Samura responded to the Mission that he was directed to refer to the above subject matter RE: LAND BOUGHT BY AHMADIYYA MUSLIM MISSION and to convey the findings of the Ministry of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment in respect of a disputed piece of land situated at Blama Road, Kenema.
The Ministry’s findings indicate that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security has no legal claims over the disputed piece of land as the said piece of land totaling 8 acres was conveyed to the Ahmadiyya Mission by the property owners under the watchful eyes to the then Paramount Chief of Nongowa Chiefdom and the Chiefdom Administration. The said piece of land therefore remains the property of the Ahmadiyya Mission.
Rasheed Charles Ngiawee (Regional Surveyor-East) in 15/2/Vol. III bordering on same stressed that the Ministry of OF LAND COUNTRY PLANNING AND THE ENVIRONMENT REGIONAL OFFICE OFF MAXWELL KHOBE STREET, KENEMA has carried out a comprehensive investigation into the said land dispute between the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security and the Ahmadiyya Mission.
The investigations findings and conclusion were forwarded to the Office of the President, State House
In the light of the above, he therefore wished to inform the Police that the ownership right of Ahmadiyya Mission over the disputed land has been established, and that the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Food Security has no legal claims over same.