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May 3, 2013

Who owns land at foot of Dangriga Bridge?

News Five has still not been able to get official comment from the Ministry of Natural Resources or from Anthony Garincha Adderly on the land dispute in Dangriga. As things currently stand, Adderly is in control of the land right at the foot of the Main Bridge, and rents stalls to vendors who operate from that spot. The Dangriga Town Council wants him off, but says the Ministry of Natural Resources is undermining their efforts. Today, Freelance reporter Mike Rudon has an update on that story.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The stalls currently being operated by these vendors on parcel 991 are doing so with permission from Anthony Garincha Adderly, and they allegedly pay him rent. But one vendor who isn’t in Adderly’s good books is Ann Vernon. She says that her small shop has been on this land since it was known as Nolberto Park.

 

Ann Vernon, Vendor

Ann Vernon

“They used to have the park along here; they used to have benches you know. Dehn mi build some bench and people used to come and sit down. I used to have mi dance group weh we use to do wi lee dancing and party around here too. It used to keep clean and pretty. All dehn trees and so dah mi baby and we just build it up. Mi coconut tree, see my line tree, I get lime off there; mi almond tree. We grow up everything so that it could grow so that the place could look pretty. This dah just a park shop weh sell chips and dip and plantain chips and thing fi di children. I mi rent it out one time when mi pa mi sick bad and I had to stay there to mind mi pa. And then I come back and do mi lee business till this man start tantalize me. Then I see dehn build wah next building. I tell dehn why unu deh di build wah building there for? Unu noh fi build building deh. And then I tell people this thing dah fi when fire, the fire engine could come and full ih water. Now how the fire engine wah fill di water? Dehn can’t fill the water sake of all dehn things weh deh along ya.”

 

But she does not pay rent to Adderly, and was actually told by him that she needs to move her shop. When she refused, he took her to court.

 

Ann Vernon

“Now I deh yah so long. Sudden one after wah while Mister Adderly come here and tell me I have to move the building. So I said over my dead body because from when I small dah weh I deh so I put the building here. Ah mind mi pa, raise mi children dehn and do mi lee business and thing. But after he tantalize mi and tantalize me, I close it down. On the nineteenth, I noh make wah five cents or nothing. Then afterwards he ker mi dah court. Gone dah court and he mi win the case because he had some documents. The magistrate mi record the papers  and then afterwards the man give me up to the sixth of April to move. So I determine and say I noh wah move. The only way I wah move is if the town board or the government come and tell me I have to move. I tell dehn I noh wah move; over my dead body I wah move. I noh wah move it because dah yah I know myself from I dah lee gial weh know money dah yah I deh. So ih win the case. Dehn give me till the sixth to move. Well I neva did move. About a week ago, the magistrate call me again and tell me well yon oh have to move and so I noh move the building.”

 

Gilbert Swaso

The dispute has made the issue of who runs things on the land complicated, but Mayor Gilbert Swaso insists that Adderly has no right to charge vendors rent.

 

Gilbert Swaso, Mayor, Dangriga Town

“He essentially is just using the local Creole term, ‘dodge’ the council basically and continue to do business in an underhanded way. If in fact he is conducting trade, he does not have a trade license to conduct any trade. But we understand that he is collecting revenues from these people who are vending here. When we go to them a lot of them are saying that they don’t have any receipt for any money that they have paid. And we have advised them that they are not to pay Mister Adderley anything in relation to rental because that is the function of the town council. But we are not collecting anything from them because at this time, because of the dispute, we do not deem it necessary to collect anything from them. So why is Mister Adderly collecting from them when the council who has the right to do so isn’t doing that because the land is under dispute.”

 

Ann Vernon

“I think this place should be left open as a part. I noh think nobody else, no oen person should own this. This dah fi we dangrigans; this dah fi we. So I noh think one person could come and say I own this. I’ve never heard this in my life.”

 

For now Vernon is content that she has been told by the Magistrate that since the land is in dispute she can stay where she is. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

We will continue our efforts to get an official comment from the C.E.O. in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Beverly Castillo.

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