Argyle international airport. (IWN photo)

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not represent the opinions or editorial position of I-Witness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The government made an order and gazetted it, enabling the acquirement of the farmlands at Argyle for use of building the Argyle International Airport. A compulsory acquirement of farmers lands and houses to build the said airport on.

Today there are 60 farmers who have not been paid for their land. Some have been waiting for six years to be paid. Some of those waiting have died whilst waiting for payment that would have enabled them to seek overseas treatment and in some cases treatment that may well of saved their lives. What some may consider as murder whilst being robbed of their land. Not only have they not been paid for their lands, they have lost the income from the crops they used to grow. They have spent their little savings, and besides that some lost everything when many of financial institutes in SVG failed, compounding their misery. Some of these families had children that wanted to go overseas and study, children who became victims because of the government’s robbery of their parents and grandparents — victims in a country that boasts an education revolution.

One man that I know wanted to go abroad and get treatment for his diabetic condition, reluctantly went into the hospital here and got that nasty foot rotting infection that our hospital is deeply infected with, you take your life in your hands when you enter the hospital here for any reason, especially if you have an open wound. That man lost his foot when his family believed if he had gone abroad in good time, his foot would of been saved. The hospital here just did not have the drugs or treatments that are available in almost any other country elsewhere. But it seems they have got a ready supply of scalpels and bone saws.

If these well-shafted owners ever get paid, they cannot demand any interest or compensation if it’s owed to them by the government. But what if it is owed to them by IADC a limited liability company. The International Airport Development Company is a private limited liability company wholly owned by the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. It was incorporated under the Companies Act of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

It appears to me that the government made the order for the land to be taken, yet the IADC negotiate and agree the price to be paid for the land, and the IADC pay the landowners. But IADC is unable to pay the landowners unless the government keep them in sufficient funds to pay the landowners. The IADC is unable to take loans so the government has been the signatory for all the loans, at least I hope it’s all the loans and includes those from our NIS.

We really require clarification of why a limited liability company is required. Would a bankruptcy or forced liquidation or receivership by the company mean that all those landowners and others owed by the company would not get paid? Or is the government responsible? Who is responsible?

I am not sure that if the company is 100 per cent owned by the government and is under the ultimate control of the government if that is little more than what would be classed as a “close company” just an extension of the government hiding under the cover of limited liability but which if looked at carefully is a sham set up for the government to remove liability from themselves.

I suppose as a separate company it makes it easy if it was decided to sell the company and its assets (the airport) for $10 when the whole thing goes boss-eyed.

We must also consider if taking the people lands and not paying them is unconstitutional and if there a serious breach of constitutional law, under Protection from deprivation of property. This Marxist led ULP Government has violated even basic human rights.

The Constitution

CHAPTER 1 — PROTECTION OF FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS

Fundamental rights and freedoms

1. Where every person in Saint Vincent is entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed or sex, but subject to respect for the rights and freedoms of others and for the public interest, to each and all of the following, namely-

c. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation, the provisions of this Chapter shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in those provisions, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any person does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of other or the public interest.

Protection from deprivation or property

6. (1) No property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, except for a public purpose and except where provision is made by a law applicable to that taking of possession or acquisition for the payment, within a reasonable time, of adequate compensation.

The government has taken to hiding behind the wording in the Constitution “within a reasonable time”, which, in my opinion. anything over a year is unreasonable and unconstitutional. But I am not a judge, so, therefore, I cannot say what is legally acceptable as a reasonable time. It’s impossible for any unbiased judiciary to agree with the government over this matter.

I have asked IADC in the past why they are not paying the landowners, I was told because they did not have the money to do so. I then asked why not, they told me they were reliant on the government giving them sufficient funds and earmarking such funds for that specific use to be able to pay the landowners. In other words the government is at fault. But to my way of thinking, surely the first part of any development phase is to pay for the land you wish to develop. Could you imagine for one moment what the cry would be from the government if the boot was on the other foot, or if it was private company acting in such a way.

In general, case law in the absence of an expressed or fixed time established by the parties to an agreement or contract, any time which is not manifestly unreasonable under the circumstances.

For example, if a contract does not fix a specific time for performance, the law will infer (and impose) a reasonable time for such performance. This is defined as that amount of time that is fairly necessary, conveniently, to do what the contract requires to be done, as soon as circumstances permit. The buyer not having the money to pay would not be an acceptable reason for non-performance or delay. The reasonableness or unreasonableness of time used or taken by a party may be the subject of Judicial Review in light of the nature, purpose, and circumstances of each case.

My advice to those who have been taken advantage of over their land should get together and make a committee, employ an solicitor who they feel is not holding a positive bias for the government and put the solicitor on a slice of that which is recovered. If you cannot find a decent local solicitor who you trust, I can recommend several from Barbados or Trinidad.

For you people in the Diaspora, our farmers are not so commercially advanced as you and would not act in the way that you do, but that is no reason at all why the government should take advantage of them.

All the friends of the airport in the Diaspora should get together and demand of the government that they pay the landowners. If you have any decency in you and are real Vincentian patriots — not ULP patriots — that is something different. You can, I suppose, be both, but in this case you cannot. Please help these people get what is owed to them, their families and children are suffering at the hands of this government.

Don’t forget Ralph Gonsalves tells us all he loves us. Well, if he loves the landowners at Argyle, he will pay them when he reads this opinion, at least within 14 days of publication. If he doesn’t, we may assume I suppose, that he doesn’t love them after all, it was simply another lie.

Peter Binose, self appointed and upgraded to keeper of the bugle.

The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

3 replies on “Who ripped off the Argyle airport landowners?”

  1. Peter's younger brother says:

    WHENEVER PETER BIGNOSE WRITES ANY ARTICLE, what else could be expected ?

    The problem is that BIGNOSE is so ridiculous ………
    that nothing he writes is taken by anyone, with any degree of seriousness !!!

    The MAN is a total clown !!!

  2. Peter Binose says:

    What I wrote is 100% the truth. So why the need to attack me, I am only the messenger.

    On reflection, there can be no excuse whatsoever for this situation that has been thrust on the Argyle land owners. So its no wonder that some kind of attack is required to try and poo poo what is happening.

    The problem is there is nothing that I wrote in this opinion that is not the honest truth.

    It goes beyond being my opinion it is absolutely true and factual.

    I do not understand for the life of me why any decent human being would want to try and attack my comments about such injustices. Clear and properly catalogued instances of human rights and constitutional issues. What kind of scum would want to attack that?

    The Argyle land owners have not been paid, why should they be funding the airport when we were promised that it would be paid for by a coalition of the willing.

    A coalition that seems to me to have turned out to be the biggest lie ever to be perpetrated on the Vincentian people.

    There is no coalition of the willing, only a coalition of the unwilling.

    The Cubans have done nothing for nothing, we have paid their wages and living cost’s every inch of the project.

    The Venezuelans who promised to pay for all the equipment only paid for 10% of it SVG has paid themselves 90%.

    The Venezuelans who we were told would pay the Cubans wages, have never paid a cent.

    The Mexicans who we were told would pay and supply all the cement, have supplied nothing, not even an empty cement bag.

    The Trinidadians who we were told would be supplying free of charge all the bitumen products including the black top for the runway, not an ounce, nothing.

    What we have is a coalition of the unwilling, or worse than that perhaps a stream of lies. Because if they all reneged on paying and playing the parts that we were told they had committed themselves to, that is one thing, but if they never promised such help in the first place that is something else.

    Kingstown traders are owed up to $60 million and can’t get paid for the last five years.

    We lost our national bank, we lost our national super market, and the Argyle land owners have not been paid.

    PAY THE ARGYLE LAND OWNERS THEIR MONEY. PAY THE KINGSTOWN TRADERS THEIR MONEY. PAY THE BARBADOS ROAD CONTRACTOR HIS MONEY.

  3. Peter Binose says:

    We have also lost our banana industry and agriculture in general, our tourist business is waning.

    Some of our financial institutes have folded or are in some considerable trouble.

    Comparatively new government building are falling apart, and our roads are in such a seriously bad condition that some are beyond repair and will require total reconstruction.

    Why is this happening? because this regime has pumped every cent into the airport because no one else would. There is no money left to maintain roads, building and infrastructure. No money left to properly maintain ministries such as agriculture and tourism.

    When people are hurt by nature they are helped by the government and good people from the Diaspora. When people are hurt by this government, they are dumped and ignored by all.

Comments are closed.