By Adama Tine
At least over 120 clients of Gam Housing Real Estate, who are said to have entered into a purchase contract agreement with the Chief Executive Officer of Gam Housing Real Estate but he has allegedly failed his contractual agreements despite receiving over D19 million from them.
Speaking on Saturday at Tintinto/Sotokoi during a press conference, a member of the ‘Victims Group’, Ebou Jammeh explained that the ‘Victims Group’ is born out of the desire to advocate and highlight the plight of several individuals and by extension, an unquantifiable number of other individuals who fell prey to the dubious dealings of land sales agents/agencies.
According to him, on 19th February 2021, a delegation of the victims had an audience with Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray as part of their advocacy efforts to highlight the plight of its members but no progress has been registered despite a promise of reverting to them.
“In March 2021, a letter of petition calling for the investigation and suspension of the Gam Housing business license until the company is cleared of any wrongdoing was sent to the Office of the President, Attorney General Chambers, Inspector General of Police and the Lands Commission, among several relevant bodies,” Jammeh said.
“The ‘Victims Group’ is fighting for the recovery of either their lands or money owed to them by Gam Housing Real Estate with a current transactional value of about D19 million,” he stressed.
Jammeh revealed that the meeting with the Vice President was principally aimed at discussing the group’s current situation and to present a four-points policy recommendation which he listed as follows:
(a) Adopting a sector-led company registration system that sets and takes into consideration sectoral requirements/trends, and dispute resolution to include collateral deposit mechanism.
(b) To introduce a due diligence process that vets and eliminates persons of criminal tendencies or convictions unless the crime is considered spent and rehabilitated.
(c) To institute an oversight authority, a cross institutional mechanism to ensure compliance and report on the activities of registered estate agents/agencies.
(d) To develop a national legislative framework, which supports the governance structures of land management reform, real estate development, land sales and transfer of ownership.
“The country is increasingly witnessing land disputes of non-traditional types, mostly of those linked to real estate development at an alarming level which is worrying and if unresolved, could lead to conflict of an unprecedented scale,” he said.
According to him, land dispute serves as a trigger for most of the African continent’s civil wars, often layered by issues of group marginalization, access to fertile land, natural resources competition and land ownership.