Land Ministry Investigates NDC For Selling State Lands Like ‘Kelewele’

The Lands Ministry is investigating what it says is the fraudulent sale of state lands by the previous administration.

According to the sector Minister John Peter Amewu state lands were given away to cronies like “kelewele” [fried pieces of plantain] without regard to due process.

A committee has thus been formed to look into the land sale, he stated in an interview on Joy News Tuesday.

The sale of state lands and properties have always been shrouded in controversy under every other regime in the fourth Republic.

The Rawlings’ administration was accused, under a divestiture programme, of selling state properties including the Nsawam cannery to the then-first lady Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings.

The Kufuor government was not spared the effusions of the angry Ga youth who accused the then government of selling Ga lands to cronies.

Shortly after winning the elections in 2009, the Ga youth some of whom were supporting the NDC went on a series of demonstration in protest against an office given to the ex-president John Kufuor.

There was widespread accusation of the government of selling Cantonment lands with reckless abandon.

Interestingly, Ex-president John Rawlings who suffered similar accusation during his tenure led the chorus against the Kufuor government accusing it of selling state lands, bungalows to its ministers and other cronies.

The decision by the late Jake Obetsebi Lamptey to purchase the state bungalow which was allocated to him as a minister did not help matters.

Even though Mr Lamptey would later win a case brought against him in court, the perception about politicians grabbing state lands, houses and properties was greatly entrenched.

After the eight-year tenure of the late John Mills/Mahama administration, the NDC has also been accused of selling state lands.

The founder of the party, Ex-president John Rawlings began the crusade against the selling of lands close to the 37 military hospital and chided the previous administration for superintending yet another sale of state lands.

In an interview with Joy News’ Latif Iddris, the Lands and Natural Resources Minister John Peter Amewu said from 2013 the then government sold state lands without due process.

He did not mention who were the beneficiaries or the cost at which the lands were sold, except to add that a committee has been constituted to re-examine the entire allocation process.

He also talked about the government’s plans to automate the entire land administration system to reduce the incidence of corruption in the process.

For a system that is hugely manual, the minister said “human intervention is a critical factor for corruption” a reason why the government is exploring other avenues with the private sector to digitalize the entire process.

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