By Musa Bah
Reports have it that on the 2nd of October 2018, the people of Busumbala and Tawto villages were visited by a demolition team comprising some paramilitaries and other youths who claimed to be sent by one Jobe Kunda Family. They demolished many buildings both in Busumbala and Tawto.
The members of the community, being perplexed by the actions of these people, went to their Alkaloos (Alkaloo of Busumbala and that of Tawto) to find out what was going on. Why should people just come and start demolishing their buildings. This was their first step to try to prevent future clashes with the demolition team.
The Alkalolu told villagers that it was news to them and that they will investigate to find out what exactly was going on so that they will know their next plan of action. The villagers then went to the chief of the area who resides in Sukuta and explained what had happened. The chief also said that he was not aware of this but that he will find out and get back to them.
Unrelenting, the members of the community went straight to their National Assembly Member in Busumbala and told him what had happened and the actions they had taken so far. The NAM told them that he was also not aware but that he would personally go with them to the Physical Planning Department to seek answers.
At the Physical Planning Department, the members of the community along with their MP were told that they (Physical Planning) were also not aware of this demolition and that they should go to go to the Sheriff’s Department. At the Sheriff’s Department; surprisingly, they were told by a man at the gate that had they not been with their MP they would not have been allowed to enter the premises. They were told that the sheriff was sick and that they should return in two days.
When they went back two days later, they were informed that the sheriff had gone to a funeral and thus they could not see him. The villagers went home dejected and frustrated. They were then made to understand that there was a court case at the Brikama Magistrate Court between the Jobe Kunda Family and the people of Busumbala about the demarcation of the border on those lands.
The court gave an injunction that no one should touch the land until the case was completed. It was at this time that the Jobe Kunda Family along with some paramilitary officers came and started demolishing houses while the case was still going on. This perplexed the villagers a lot.
Recently, the villagers woke up in the morning only to find that some people had demolished two houses in the area during the night and were already erecting a building in their place. The villagers say they cannot understand how this could be done when a court case about the issue was still ongoing.
All this is according to the information I received from the disgruntled villagers of Busumbala and Tawto. If all the information given is accurate, then someone somewhere might be abusing their authority and is playing a very dangerous game. These are the types of things that can cause a disturbance of the peace and should be addressed quickly to avoid it degenerating into something untoward.
We have seen what happened in Faraba and some other places which resulted in the loss of lives because someone somewhere failed to do what was expected of him or her. We must not be lethargic and let problems fester into acrid wounds which may lead to the loss of lives of our people.
These villagers are angry, frustrated and dejected. They are threatening that if this continues, then whatever happens will be on the government and not them. It is important that statements like this are taken seriously by the government so as to avoid degeneration into chaos.
I hope you look into this problem soonest to avoid a repeat of Faraba in the country. Prevention, it is said, is better than cure!
Have a good day Mr President.