Land and Natural Resources Minister, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, has lunged at the insanity permeating land acquisition in the country and charged persons crying for the victims of the recent demolition exercise by the Tema Development Corporation to rather commit to fighting the canker of impunity in the country.
The minister is convinced the victims encroached on a piece of land they had no title to, insisting that merely because a stranger walks into and occupies a completed house does not make him on her the owner of the house.
The minister was commenting on the demolition exercise by the Tema Development Corporation which has left over 150 home owners homeless and several hundreds of families putting up in tents.
Others are sleeping in the open as the tents supplied by the National Disaster Management Organisation can cater for only a few in need.
Some of the residents told Joy News’ Joseph Opoku Gakpo about 15-20 people have been crammed in a 3 meter long UNHCR tent and there are fears of outbreak of communicable diseases.
Some of the women claim they have been left with no other place to take their bath than in the open, while some men say they were yet to take their bath, days after the demolition exercise.
The TDC is on a war path with some Tema chiefs and the Member of Parliament, Irene Naa Toshie Addo.
Asked if there was no other alternative than to render the people homeless, the Lands and Natural Resources minister said “One should also question whether we should allow impunity and indiscipline to prevail in this country. It is always important that we always balance the need to ensure that we have law and order in this country and the need to meet the requirements of people.
“…The indiscipline in land administration must be brought to an end,” he stated.
According to him, the demolition exercise falls within the ambit of the TDC, agreeing that the disputed land is the property of the TDC.
While admitting that what is going on in Tema is unfortunate, he was quick to add “repeating mistakes has never been considered as an experience.”
“Let’s try as a country to do things properly. If you build your house and someone walks in and occupies a room in your house, does that fellow become the owner of that room? he questioned.
He said if managers of government lands look on for the land to be encroached upon, the encroachers will not be said to have validly acquired the land.
When his attention was drawn to the fact that some victims may have been given documents purporting to be original land documents, the minister said that is no excuse.
“You can’t rely on a forged document to say you are in adverse possession [of property].
The minister would not want to try the matter on radio except to add that “buyers beware! When you are buying the land the responsibility is on you to ensure that you acquire the land properly.”