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Jun 21, 2018

Land Feud in Lemonal; ComPol’s Wife Takes on Relatives for Choice Property

Hell broke loose in the village of Lemonal, Belize District, early this morning between relatives over a problem that had been brewing for some time.  It has to do with a prime parcel of land claimed by feuding families.  Sharon Mae Whylie, the wife of the Commissioner of Police, says she owns the land in question and has title to prove it.  But village resident and retired police officer, Tony Anthony, is also claiming the land saying he has invested in it and has been working part of the parcel for years.  Today, the police were called to the village as the dispute escalated when Whylie’s surveyor began to work on the land Anthony claims.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano spoke to all sides and has the following report. 


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The desecration of a tomb at a cemetery in Lemonal Village, the final resting place of Sharon Mae Whylie’s father, is a most disrespectful act of vengeance caused by an ongoing land dispute among neighbors in this rural community.  The headstone which sits atop the grave has been broken, so too has the tiled facade surrounding the burial chamber.  The feud over a plot of land centered between the graveyard and an adjacent property involves the wife of Police Commissioner Allen Whylie.


Sharon Mae Whylie

Sharon Mae Whylie, Lemonal Resident

“From 2008 I have received that piece of land over there.  I applied for it and I got it through the P.U.P. government and in 2015 I went and I applied for the title and I got it then, 2015.”


Despite taking ownership of the land via title, the front portion of the parcel which faces the Lemonal Road was occupied by someone else.  The rear portion is claimed by Tony Anthony, a retired policeman who returned to the village in the mid-nineties.


Tony Anthony

Tony Anthony, Lemonal Resident

“When I retired from police, I came home because this is my home and I came home and live and I was given a piece, a small portion of land to build to hog pens.  The [Social Investment Fund], SIF, came and wanted to do a project with the villagers, so I chose a piece of place right adjacent to me to build this hog pen because the area where I live is overcrowded with fruit trees and whatnot.  So I built the hog pen there that SIF granted to us and my other neighbor, I told him, “No problem, cohn build side ah me.”  We built the hog pen in 2007 and thereafter we got the pigs them, but I’ve been hearing since 2012 or 2013, dehn seh Sharon Whylie seh ih wahn shub down di hog pen dehn.”


That’s because, according to Whylie, she had already begun the process of obtaining the required documents to lawfully acquire the piece of property.  Ever since then, she has been at odds with her neighbors and it just so happens that the Anthony family are also her relatives.  This morning, things came to a head when several workmen appeared on the scene to erect a barbwire enclosure.


Sharon Mae Whylie

“I decided to fence it because it’s one thing over and over.  Every time we get the surveyor to put down the pegs, somebody keeps moving the pegs and every time we want to survey the place we can’t find the pegs and I don’t want to get in trouble, so that’s why I always go back to the surveyor to come and show me the exact spot because I don’t want to go across in their property.”


But Anthony claims that despite the location of the survey peg, she has deliberately ventured onto his land.


Tony Anthony

“In Last week she brought the bulldozer and she came to my back gate and ih said, “Bebo, weh Tony?”  My wife said, “Tony noh deh ya” ih seh, “but I deh ya.”  Ih she, “Mek Tony show mi weh ih boundary deh because ah noh wahn push nothing pan ih place.”  Dat dah di place over there.  So my wife showed her the boundary and they pushed that place.  So it’s so surprising to me this morning when I was awakened with police vehicles.  Commissioner Whylie’s vehicle come with surveyor and the survey is going over my place.  So I tell them, “Mein, weh unu di du.  I seh mein, get outta my place.  She done push di place already weh ih she da fu she.”


Anthony tells News Five that the land in question was re-surveyed and subdivided several years ago under instructions from Area Representative Edmond Castro.  The portion under dispute, he says, had been applied for through the Lands Department and despite the lengthy process, his name appears on the application.  He describes the altercation with police this morning.


Tony Anthony

“The police seh, “No come close because ah wahn shot yoh.”  That’s Inspector Zuniga.  So well I neva had no intention fi go fight wid he.”


Commissioner Whylie declined comment on record, but said that he has purposely stayed out of the matter.  His wife, however, has a right to call the police to ensure that the process is carried out peacefully.


Sharon Mae Whylie

“All the time, whenever I bring the surveyor here when they pick up the marker, the neighbor always comes out, sometime with his long machete and seh how ih wahn kill people out here.  Tony.  Tony Anthony always comes out here with a long machete.  This morning we came here and the first thing he shouted out was, “Somebody is going to die out here.”  Me noh wahn nobody chop off my head because he done have record already weh ih chop up people.”


Kenroy Reynolds, the village chairman, believes that the issue is the result of residents not following due process by applying for relevant land titles.


Voice of: Kenroy Reynolds, Chairman, Lemonal Village

“Mrs. Whylie has shown me a piece of paper that shows that she applied for certain piece of land in Lemonal and with the papers dat da weh I count fi land.  If you have papers dat da weh count, so whosoever has their papers I ask to please present it and mek dis fussness stop because then ih no look good fi Lemonal dat wih di fuss ova land.  If you have papers da fi you, if yoh noh have papers di land is not yours.”


The issue remains unresolved, so too is the case of vandalism involving the defaced tomb.


Sharon Mae Whylie

“Ih look like someone from over there came across this side concerning that land, come over here and breakup my father’s headstone, the bible on the top.  But it was somebody from over that side since I started to push it down and thing, they came over this side and did that.”


Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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