Categorized | National News

DNA: Bahamian Shantytown Owners On Brink Of Treason

Bahamian owners of the lands on which shanty towns sit are on the brink of committing treason and are just as guilty as the illegal immigrants of committing a crime, according to a former immigration minister.

Addressing reporters on the issue Friday, Democratic National Alliance (DNA) Leader Branville McCartney called on the government to publicly list the first and last names of these landowners.

“We’ve called on the government to list the names of the owners of these shantytowns; these people who’ve committed almost treason against our country.

“Many of them were given Crown land by the government and now are landlords in shantytowns.”

Mr. McCartney’s comments come several days after a massive fire ripped through a huge shantytown off Joe Farrington Road destroying more than 30 homes and leaving more than 120 people homeless.

Residents suspect arson; however, investigations are still ongoing. Since Monday, a team of investigators have been on the ground, sifting through the rubble in hopes of finding clues.

Meantime, the displaced residents were forced to sleep at the Joe Farrington Road Auditorium.

But, it is only a short term fix to the problem. They must determine where to go from there.

According to Mr. McCartney, four massive shantytown fires have taken place between March 2011 and July this year.

“I heard that people only require payment from the shantytown residents because they wanted to ensure they, the land owners, don’t lose rights as owners to squatters’ rights. I’ve never heard more foolishness,” he said.

McCartney said the problem is much more complex than that and goes beyond simple landlord tenant issues.

He suggested that successive governments have not had the political will to tackle this vexing issue because quite possibly their pockets are being lined.

“They want votes, either from those who can vote or those who have families in the shantytowns who can vote,” he said.

“The second reason is that they must be benefitting financially.”

According to Mr. McCartney, Bahamians should be outraged over this issue.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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