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Mocha squatters request pre-litigation mediation with government 

The Cane View/Mocha, East Bank Demerara (EBD) residents, whose houses were destroyed last month, have dispatched a notice to the government to pursue a “just resolution of their grievance.”  

The informal settlers, on February 8, 2023, through International Lawyers Dr. Vivian Williams and Lyndon Amsterdam, served notice on Minister of Housing and Water Collin Croal and Attorney General Anil Nandlall. 

In that notice, the aggrieved residents gave the government seven days to initiate settlement talks, which would be up on Wednesday.  

“The government erred in the way it handled this matter. The resort to the use of the coercive arms of the state was precipitate and without legal basis,” said Dr. Williams. 

However, the New York-based Attorney added that allowing the government to resolve the issue just before resorting to litigation is useful.

The lawyers stressed that the affected residents have numerous meritorious claims arising from the acts and or omissions of employees and or agents of the Ministry of Housing.

The notices were sent on behalf of Lashonda Ellis, Joyann Ellis, Roxanne Allen, Mark Gordon, and Candacie Williams. The lawyers noted that the retention of other affected residents is being finalised.

The affected residents and their lawyers hope the government will act in good faith and initiate settlement talks without delay.

Last month, the Ministry of Housing, with support from the Guyana Police Force (GPF), demolished the houses at Mocha Arcadia, leaving about 32 persons homeless. 

While some of the squatters accepted the ministry’s offer, others clung to the position that their livelihoods were not adequately catered for. 

However, the Ali-led Administration noted that the demolition process paved the way for the Eccles-to-Diamond four-lane highway, which is expected to improve the traffic congestion on the East Bank of Demerara.

The affected residents occupied the plots of land for decades and invested large sums of money in building properties and engaging in other economic activities. 

The distressed residents are receiving support from International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly – Guyana (IDPADA-G).

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