LAND CRISIS EMINENT IN MARGIBI COUNTY …As Citizens Petition County Legislative Caucus to Intervene

By Staff Writer

Margibi County: Land disputes across Liberia have been a major issue especially relating to ownership and or title. It has finally dawn in the Kollie-Klee Community in District 5, Margibi County with a long standing land Dispute. If care is not taken by National Government, citizens alarmed that things might turn chaotic.

Citizens of Kollie-Klee Community recently assembled in their numbers to petition the Margibi County Legislative Caucus to swiftly intervene in a land Dispute currently ongoing in the county

The petitioners who termed themselves as ‘Indigenous Citizens’, in their petition
indicated that Kollie-Klee Community dwellers have endured long sufferings and sustained human rights violation at the hands of a man only identified as Joseph Jerkins Mends-Cole. The petitioners mentioned that Mends-Cole has been influenced by Judge Mardea Chenoweth and County Attorney Dedeh Wilson to forcefully take their land.

They alleged that Jerkins Mends-Cole is claming 1,000 acres of land in the community, eventhough he was given a parcel of land back in the 1950s by his late father.

Presenting the Petition, the Secretary of the Community Land Development Management Committee, Mr E. Kpanneh Edward questions Mr. Mends- Cole ownership of tribal certificate and deed of the 1,000 acres of land.

Chapter 8, ,Article -32 of the 2018 land right law states that Rural communities must identify and claim their land whether deed or no deed community owns their land. Chapter 11,Article 46 (b) also states that Private land ownership under Tribal Certificate or deed are as well recognized within community customary land if only the Community Can testify to authenticate same.

“Jerkins Mends-Cole whose father was given a parcel of land by our fore- Fathers in the 1950s has taken advantage of the situation and is now claiming 1,000 acres of land within our Customary Land and being supported by the Court headed by Judge Mardea Chenoweth. Mr. Mends- Cole who supposed to be having a tribal Certificate to be transformed and Signed under public land sales deed now has an unregistered deed of 1,000 acres of land signed by who is yet to be established” Mr. Edward noted.

Also the chair lady of the Community Land Development Management Committee Victoria Dennis said due to the land dispute, their children are unable to go to school, while citizens are being badly beaten and placed behind bars.

She said they have to flee their community for fear of being arrested thereby causing their crops to get damaged. “This time around we will resist any arrest from the police, we will not allow people to use their influence to deprive our rights, no one calling us to hear our side of the story, all they do is arrest us and our children putting us in jail” Victoria Dennis said.

Receiving the petition, Margibi County Caucus secretary Rep Ivar Jones said the Caucus will take cease of the matter immediately and intervene. He commended the citizens for taking the right step in ensuring a peaceful remedy to the matter “Peaceful assembly is the best way in solving conflict”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *