An official directive sent from the Office of the West Coast region Governor, seen by The Standard, has instructed district chiefs to ask the alkalolu in their jurisdiction not to collect charges on land transaction within their respective communities. The charge, often referred to as commission, is believed to be a regular fee paid to alkalolu by people involved in mainly land transfer process.
The directive, dated 23 August, reads: “It has been brought to the attention of the Office of the Governor through the Permanent Secretrary that there are some alkalolu collecting charges on land transactions in their respective communities despite warnings for them to desist from such . This act is not backed by any law thus ilegal and unaceptable. It is worth noting that alakalolu are public officers and all monies collected by a public officer on behalf of the public should be receipted and remit to the Consolidfated Fund for accountability. All district chiefs are herein instructed to relay this information to alkalolu in their respective distrcts with immediate effect. Henceforth any alkalo or alkalolu found wanting will be dealt with by the full wrath of the law. “
After discovering the directive The Standard contacted two alkalolu who spoke under the condition of anonymity. They both said the directive is too harsh.
”The fees collected by alkalolu from land transactions are not mandatorily collected but voluntarily given by the people involved in the transactions. So it was always at the discrection of the buyer or seller to give what some people called a commission,” one alkalo told The Standard.
Another one said the move will now make it hard for anyone to even consider giving a token to any alkalo out of goodwill.
“Alkalolu have no other source of income despite all their hard work. Even the salary allocated to us is too small and often not regularly paid,” he alleged.