Landowner: New trend evolving

Source: Melissa Martin, Post Courier

SPECIAL agriculture businesses lease (SABL) titles found to be defective by a Commission of Inquiry are mutating into a new scam.

According to landowners, there are early signs that a new trend of mutation is starting to take shape on defective SABLs, and as such they (landowners) have alerted the public to prevent this trend from taking root.

A concerned landowner who wished to remain anonymous told the Post-Courier yesterday that defective title holders are now developing new strategies to continue with the SABL.

"If this trend takes root, it is dangerous for the country as most landowners will suffer at the continuous loss of their land.

"We want the government to tell the affected landowners the established administrative and legal processes used to take our land, otherwise our land should come to the rightful landowners," he said.

The landowner alleged that the new strategies used to issue ILGs over existing defective SABLs areas involve collaboration with very senior officers within the Department of Lands.

"Those new mutating scams over defective SABLs must be stopped immediately, and new strategies and processes must be developed to deal with customary land under new laws.

"The SABL titles found defective by the Commission of Inquiry, must be corrected in a transparent and accountable process," he said.

He said quashing defective SABL titles and returning land to the original customary landowners requires a systematic approach, which involves a whole range of legally and administratively sanctioned processes.

"For instance, while titles are cancelled, the survey plans will also need to be cancelled. Further, to whom does the land return to, because, many of the titles were fraudulently dealt with.

"These are just examples of many technical, administrative and legal issues to be dealt with in the process of implementing not only the Commission of Inquiry’s finding but the NEC decision to cancel or review defective SABLs," he said.

The landowner supported his statements with three cases that the defective SABLs might mutate into a new scam arising from a series of developments to date.