By Almamo Kamaso
The propose land in Jinack Kajatta on which President Barrow is supposed to lay the foundation stone for a city on September 16 2021, which land is said to have been purchased by a Senegalese company is the subject of the controversial land dispute.
The people of Jinack Kajatta whose land was seized from them and put on a bondage for more than 33 years threaten a lawsuit against government if their demands are not met. The Community continued to suffer from not only depriving them of using the land for any purpose be it agriculture or otherwise; but they also buy water either from Banjul , Barra or neighboring Senegalese villages for nothing less than twenty dalasi per every twenty liters gallons for the past twenty years.
This land in question is on the verge of being sold to a Senegalese company by the government of the day for a housing purpose; the said company is to build a city on the Island; what benefit is the community to drive from the said sale is the bond of contention between the villagers and government.
Speaking to a native of the traditional owners of the Island (Jinack Kajatta) who prefers to be anonymous told the Daily News in an exclusive interview that all we are asking for, is what is our benefit from this propose sale of the land. All we are asking from government is to give the people of Jinack Kajatta one portion of the land from the three different locations, for that to remain the traditional ownership like any other community in the Gambia; because we do not know what government interest is. “The remaining two other portions can be used by government for national development” He said.
The undercover investigator who remains anonymous told the Daily News that when they fail to convince the government to give them one of the portions for community use; and when the government feels their resistance they offered a road connection. The insider said no, all we are demanding is gives us one of the portions of the land, because we do not know what government has taken from this investor in exchange of the land , we do not know whether the land is given free, we have no idea as what government has taken at all” Undercover investigator told the Daily News. He said they are against the decision without any financial compensation for the people of Jinack Kajatta, he concludes.
When the National Assembly member for Lower Nuime was contacted to tell us what his take is on the land saga, this is what Hon Mahtarr M. Jeng said “I want the whole process be put on hold until a thorough investigation is made as to whether the people are properly consulted; if they are what is the benefit accrued, and to ascertain if there is no hand twisting”.
Controversial Land dispute in Jinak Kajatta
By Almamo Kamaso