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Purging land administration is a step in the right direction!

Purging land administration is a step in the right direction!

Land acquisition is one of the most delicate and contaminated issues affecting the lives of many Sierra Leoneans in and out of the country. Even though there is abundance of land across the country, most of it untapped and unoccupied, yet, the scramble for land continues unabated, most often than not, resulting in violent and bloody communal and family conflicts as well as abject deprivation of individuals.

Land feud has mostly been fueled by unscrupulous officials at the Lands Ministry in their zest to quench their insatiable thirst for money through the application of crooked processes and procedures that produce fake land papers to the highest bidders.

In some cases, the same parcel of land is resold severally, thus setting the stage for bitter acrimony and confrontation among the various purchasers. Ministers, lawyers, community leaders and family heads have also been pointed accusing fingers in the orchestration of dubious land deals.

Given the ever growing demand for land especially in the western area, land has not only become a luxury good, but a lucrative enterprise and those involved in it go the extra mile to strike a deal, make their cut and damn the consequences. 

It has become so deeply rooted and perennial, that reforming the land sector requires the highest political will and resolve; it is indeed a dangerous terrain to tread on. 

We therefore wish to strongly urge the current leadership in the ministry of lands to get to the bottom of all controversial land matters and shady transactions and bring the culprits to book. Procedures and processes in land acquisition should be made simple and clear for the common man, rather than in the interest of the bourgeoisie.

We also wish to caution the Minister to be aware of civil society evil partners with ulterior motives in the guise of public interest. Some of them have sinister agenda that can undermine the integrity of a well-meaning Minister.

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