We’ve told you about the crime situation and the water issue that has recently affected the community of Mahogany Heights which sits at mile 31 on the George Price Highway. Now we will tell you about another issue with the Pine Trees that have become a landmark feature of the community.
Authorized logging of the pine trees in the Mahogany Heights community is causing concern from the residents, who see the Pine trees as part of their community.
To understand the story we must go back a few years. In 2005, it was discovered that the rights to the land on which the community of Mahogany Heights sits is questionable. This was after the then Government paid businessman Abdul Hamze $9 million dollars for the land, which the Musa administration divided into single lots and sold to residents of Southside Belize City.
The residents who had paid or had been paying for their house and lot, were in for a big shock when it was revealed that the entire land was being sold by its mortgager. Abdul Hamze, who the government had bought the land from, had apparently mortgaged the property to one Johnny Kuo for $2 million dollars, and because allegedly Hamze didn’t pay, Kuo was exercising his rights to sell the land.
The matter is still not settled to date and is causing a problem now because the current government has authorized the current owner to log in the community, according to the Village Council chairlady. The issue arises because the land ownership is still up in the air and if the owner can exercise his rights to cut the trees then can he also exercise his rights on their properties? That is the concern of the villagers who find themselves in the middle of a land dispute, land that they live on, with little say in it all.