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Tenants elated that Gov’t will acquire lands on their behalf

Tenants elated that Gov’t will  acquire lands on their behalf
Stratford Brackin


Several persons who live on a piece of land in Richmond Hill say they are elated that government has decided to acquire the land on their behalf.

This, as two of the owners, Dr Wayne Murray and his wife Simone Murray have served notice on 11 of their 16 tenants to vacate the rented spaces. Some of these persons have been living in the area for as many as 24 years.

“I feel real happy about it because I don’t really have nowhere to go,” said one resident who preferred to remain anonymous.

Tenants elated that Gov’t will  acquire lands on their behalf

He said he had been hearing rumours that the government had stepped in, but he was not sure that it was true.

“All my children born and raise this side and also other people children. It like just having something like a dead property and turning it into a live property so I think this is a great achievement,” said the happy man.

He noted also that he is glad the government is looking out for residents as the Murrays had served them with notices.

The tenant said he and the other tenants previously had a good relationship with the landowners, “…but the time [Dr Murray] marry to Simone it seems to me like he want to control,” said the resident who added that he entered into the rental agreement with someone who is now dead.

He added that even if a few tenants are unruly, as is being suggested, that does not mean everyone must leave.

A woman who has lived on the land for 56 years said she was born on the land and her father entered into the
rental agreement with Edward McClean, who she said is Simone Murray’s great grandfather.

She said she was given notice to move in June and has until December 5, 2020 to leave the land, but was hearing for the first time from SEARCHLIGHT that the land was being acquired.

“I feel a kinda happy at one part because I have my daughter sick, so we might get the road fix…that is good news,” said the woman who added that she was contemplating where she would go after she received notice.

Stratford Brackin, another resident of 24 years said he was given a letter telling him to move, so he is glad about the government’s move.

He said his home has seven persons and he is watchman.

“Man, I feel real proud of the government right now. I feel real good how the man wah acquire the land because I will get somewhere for me to live when the doctor telling me we have to find somewhere to go,” said Brackin.

The joy expressed by the tenants is in complete contrast to the mood of the owners who told SEARCHLIGHT that the acquisition of the land was being done unprofessionally.

Dr Murray said the issue is a human rights one and to them, a clear case of victimization.

The first publication of the Government’s intention to acquire the land under Section 3 of the Land Acquisition Act, Chapter 24 appeared in the Government Gazette of July 28, 2020 and refers to approximately three acres of land at Richmond Hill belonging to Simone Murray et al.

“Clearly this is not a principled exercise. The document is vague, and this decision was made by government without proper dialogue,” Dr Murray told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

He said the family will not challenge the acquisition, but they want the public to know what is going on.

Simone Murray said the family would prefer to use the majority of the land as farming land as there have been landslides in the area which provide evidence that the land is unsuitable for housing.

She said the acquisition of the land by the Government encourages lawlessness.