Home Letters What is our land policy for the Guyanese people?
I have read the reports of certain executive members and Government officials obtaining substantial acres of land in Guyana. It is the method by which it was so acquired that caused the alarm.
I do not think anyone ought to quarrel or seek mileage of that ownership save and except that they ought to ensure the unfortunate poor are also entitled to lands do receive same.
It is generally forgotten that 83,000 square miles of lands, together with 200 miles radius of sea, make up the Republic of Guyana.
The ancestors of the Africans dug trenches and made dams with whiplashes penniless and were made into chattels yet none of the Government leaders since Independence has seen it fit to give each family 1000 acres of land for their development but they have to crawl, bribe or beg for a simple house lot in vain.
Guyana has no more than 180,000 families at an average of 5 members per family yet all the regimes of Guyana since Independence cannot bring themselves to give out 180,000 acres of land lawfully at 1000 acres to each such family.
I know of a citizen who captured in excess of 170,000 acres of land once owned by LIDCO to enrich himself with the cattle thereon yet owing substantial outstanding sum to MMA and Government for arrears of rates and taxes. By divine grace, those leases are now expired.
What sin is there in giving the citizens of this country land to which they should have title and raise money for self-development and make their livelihood for generations to come?
The colonial Government did give large tracts with long leases and grants thereto.
It is a shame that our own citizens, in whose name we pontificate and promise substantial benefits at political meetings by every political party on the hustings, become the victims of foreign plunder and continue to lead poor, destitute wretched lives as the leaders hitherto poor and powerless now falsely in the citizens’ name ascend to glory and regal splendour whilst these very citizens’ screams and anguish, their supporters, fall on deaf ears.
I ask and plead to correct these unforgivable wrongs by ameliorating the lives of the unfortunate poor and enthusiastic farmers through adequate distribution of substantial acres of land just as the leaders of 60,000 Amerindians continue to enjoy large tracts while descendants of slaves and indenture are denied the same consideration.
What is our land policy for the Guyanese people? Who should possess and work our fertile lands? Oh, citizens please answer.
Jailall T Kissoon
Former PNC MP and