Speaking on his sick bed to The Standard, Mr Mangasuba explained: “I have children and grandchildren. My age and failing health has left me worrying that I will not live to see justice despite the fact that series of judgments have been delivered in my favour over the past ten years in the said matter,” said the old man, wearing a T-shirt and a towel wrapped around his waist, his voice, hands and fingers shaking as he made effort to express his points.
He said the settlers refused to leave even though they were evicted by the Police Intervention Unit personnel on two occasions. According to the old man, the settlers claimed that they acquired the land legally. “They even went to court after I won the case, but the courts upheld my ownership. Despite this, they are refusing to leave. The principle of rule of law dictates that we turn to courts to settle disputes, something I have done already,” he explained.
The retired automotive engineer and former chief engineer of the defunct Public Works Department (PWD), and Gambia Public Transport Corporation (GPTC) said he acquired the land with proper documentation from the relevant authorities over 25 years ago. He said he began losing his land after a new alkalo was appointed who partitioned the said land into several parcels and resold it to different settlers.
“I set out on a legal battle that took me over ten years, from the lower to the higher courts of the land. All the courts have delivered judgments in my favour, yet the trespassers refused to vacate my land,” he lamented.
He said the last of the judgments came after the presiding judge travelled to the site to see first-hand, after hearing all sides of the arguments in the court. “He had asked that I show him the boundaries of my land. After close examination, he pointed out that, “even the blind will know that this land belongs to the old man”. The judge was of the opinion that the occupants colluded with ‘conspirators’ to take advantage of my non-literacy and old-age and rob me of my land. And I always maintain that although I cannot read what is written on paper, I can at any time be able to identify the boundaries of my land in question,” he stated.
Author: Sanna Camara]]>