By Simon Deng
The committee established by the president to assess land grabbing and informal settlement in Juba county will resume its work next week according to Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the governor for Central Equatoria State who also doubles as the Co-chair of the land assessment committee together with Michael Changjiek, the Minister for Land and Housing.
“It is festive season but in the first week of january, the committee will pick up its work, the committee has done about 30 to 45 percent in areas of registration or finding populations that have settled informally or grabbed land,
the committee is going ahead with the mapping process, identifying areas that are grabbed, finding strategies of how to address informal settlement and land grabbing,” Governor Anthony told Juba Echo in Juba on Friday.
The governor warned those illegally distributing land in Central Equatoria State, saying that the law will catch up with them.
“The legitimate entity that is by law given to distribute, allocate, survey land is the government, the government of the republic of south Sudan, the government of Central Equatoria state or local government, people should be law abiding, you should know who is responsible for what, you should not just pick yourself overnight and begin to distribute land when you do not have the mandate, your document, your mandate and what you are doing wouldn’t be legal,” he warned.
Early this week, some residents in Gumbo-Shirikat petitioned the national ministry of housing over property tax by Rajaf Payam administration calling for a halt to collection of taxes on unregistered pieces of land on which there are property saying the taxes stop until the pieces of land are legally registered.
Kor-Wolyang area in Kasire neigbourhood also witnessed land related dispute between the host community and “land grabbers” allegedly spotted in military uniforms.
In November this year, president Salva Kiir formed a committee co-chaired by Michael Changjiek, the national Minister for Land and Housing and Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the Governor for Central Equatoria state to assess the magnitude of “land grabbing” and informal settlement in Juba City and Juba County.
The committee recently faced resistance along Juba-Bor road leading to the deaths of three people.