Reg 5 residents accuse MMA of corruption

first_img…lead protest at Onverwagt officeResidents of Region Five ( Mahaica- Berbice) staged a peaceful protest outside of the Mahaica-Mahaicony-Abary Agriculture Development Association (MMA-ADA) Tuesday morning calling the association out on corruption.Some of the residents of Region Five who protested peacefully outside of the MMA office TuesdayThe residents accused the MMA of taking the lands that they occupy and distributing thousands of acres to members of their Board, relatives and friends of Board members, as well as Members of Parliament.“The former chairman of MMA board got over 5000 acres of land and I barely have 10 acres and fighting to take it back. How this could be fair? We are farmers and we just trying to make a living for ourselves and families,” one of the residents said.Peter Jaikaran, a resident who spoke with Guyana Times on Tuesday, called on the Government to conduct a thorough investigation into the gross mismanagement of the State’s resources by the MMA Board. He made calls for the Board members to go as they have been distributing land to APNU/AFC close associates, who are not farming on the land but rather, renting it out.“We are farmers and we can’t even get a piece of land to farm. But APNU and their friends getting thousands and thousands of acres of land which they renting out,” he said.Meanwhile, other protesters questioned if MPs are getting land, why ordinary farmers who are occupying the land and depending on farming for their livelihood cannot benefit. “How these people getting land? Jennifer Wade and other MPs and so… and we living right here on these lands and can’t get,” a protestor questioned.Peoples Progressive Party Member of Parliament Faizal Jaffarally, and other residents of the region who formed part of the protest action, called for an independent inquiry into how the lands were distributed and urged the Minister of Agriculture and President to examine the process by which the lands were given. “We want the President and the ministers to help these farmers to get back their lands that were taken away and given to APNU MPs,” the protester stated.Meanwhile, Region Five Vice Chairman Rion Peters, who was also in support of Tuesday’s protest, said that he stands firm with the residents since they are being treated unfairly. He said the protest is in response to large quantities of land being distributed by the Board of the MMA to family and friends while region five farmers cannot acquire any and are left to suffer as they depend on farming for their livelihood. He said such an act cannot be condoned and reiterated calls on those responsible to investigate the way the Board has been handling State lands in Region Five. “We cannot allow them to trample on the rights of the people in Region Five who were occupying these lands for years and we believe that every resident should be able to have equal access to these lands. I am supporting this cause because it is just and the MMA should have acted fairly,” the Vice Chairman said.Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo, at his press conference last week, accused the Ministry of the Presidency, through the Lands and Surveys Commission, of alleged corruption in the leasing of State lands.Jagdeo pointed to a number of land leases and showed that they were all handed out recently to officials, who worked close to the Government. Majority of the leases that the Opposition Leader revealed were handed out after the No-Confidence Motion was passed against the Government on December 21, 2018.last_img read more