UDP wants prime land in Dangriga for constituency headquarters





Some community leaders in the south are claiming that the ruling United Democratic Party Government  has all but abandoned the south; that the attitude after being swept out of power in both the Stann Creek and Toledo Districts in the 2012 general elections, has not been positive. The latest example, according to Mayor of Dangriga Town Gilbert Swaso is the battle over a prime piece of land, 10.5 acres, located north of the Carl Ramos Stadium. The Town Council says the land is earmarked for tourism development but 2.5 acres of it has been given to the UDP for use as their constituency headquarters. The treatment of the Council by the Government rankles with Mayor Swaso, who accused the Lands Department and past Mayor Frank “Pawpa” Mena of betrayal.

Gilbert Swaso – Mayor of Dangriga:

vlcsnap-2013-09-17-09h40m05s234The question is: What can a UDP headquarters bring in terms of industry, in terms of employment for our people?  So that is completely undermining the efforts of the Dangriga Town Council, which I believe ought not to happen.  This, in my view, is part and parcel of on a consistent effort of behalf of the administration to certainly punish the people of Dangriga, for exercising their constitutional right to vote in an Area Representative who is a PUP, and a municipal government which is PUP. What else can be the reason, if that isn’t the reason?   Let me also say that, the Chairperson of the UDP Constituency here in Dangriga was one who was contracted by the same Mr Maynor, who they claim is the caretaker for the UDP.  He was contracted to get the survey in the first instance, and also to ensure that we get title for those properties.  And Mr Maynor was also the mayor.  So they know for a fact that this land was taken by the Council to ensure that some tourism industy is developed.

Mayor Swaso says the UDP’s knew of the plans for the land and said that since they already had their own parcel not far from the area, why would they need this one?

Gilbert Swaso – Mayor of Dangriga:

They know where this land is.  They know the status of this land, and their the same people trying to perpetuate this illegality on our people.  They should be the ones coming together with the Town Council, so that together we can have a viable industry in Dangriga for our people.  It shouldn’t be politics.  It’s supposed to be about the people of Dangriga.  Our plan is certainly to have a Cultural Centre in that same area, where we would also have various booths and stalls, so that those could be utilized by the residents to sell their arts and crafts along the same area.  Certainly the intent would also be to further develop the town pier, so that we could have a marina in that same area, even for small and larger vessels.  It will be a comprehensive plan. 

MayorSwaso gives some details as to what is planned for the area and says they will not give up the issue.

Gilbert Swaso – Mayor of Dangriga:

We are not given the title, so that then we could seek investors to support the development of that same area, where we could get people to be trained for the industry, and then further provide employment.  Dangriga has a high rate of unemployment.  Dangriga has a high rate of poverty.  That land can provide an infrastructure for economic development in Dangriga, and we have been denied by the same members of the United Democratic Party who were in office, and they will be building a headquarters there.   That, in my view, is totally nonsense, and something not to be tolerated.  We want everything.  It is for the people of Dangriga.  It is not for any UDP headquarters.  As a matter of fact, let me state here, that there’s a parcel of land that is already slated for the UDP headquarters in some other area, very near to that same location.  So why would they want a prime piece of property to build a headquarters?  That to me is nonsense, total nonsense.  So we cannot allow them to have any piece of that.  That is for the people of Dangriga for an industry.

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