The Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) has told the government that land on the Sister-Ilse is not for sale and no amount of Cabinet engagements will change that.
“No amount of Cabinet statements plans to amend, repeal or ignore laws will succeed in coercing the people of Barbuda to acquiesce to the central government administration’s attempts to impose non-sustainable and environmentally destructive development policies on Barbuda,” the BPM said in a statement Monday.
The Cabinet said last week that it had discussions on a further amendment to the Barbuda Land (Amendment) Act (2018).
Chief of Staff in the Office of the Prime Minister Lionel Max Hurst said Cabinet was persuaded by a paper emanating from the Ministry of Legal Affairs that the provision limiting the purchase of land in Barbuda to a category of citizens called “Barbudans” is unconstitutional.
That portion of the 2018 law will be repealed Hurst said, and that portion of the law addressing the sale of land in Antigua and Barbuda will make reference to “Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda”.
But the BMP said Barbudans will continue to act in order to safeguard their grandchildren’s future.
“The Lands of Barbuda are owned in Common by the People of Barbuda. Barbuda’s Lands are not for sale The Barbuda People’s Movement (BPM) takes note of the last Cabinet”
“We wish to remind all that the Barbuda Local Government Act (1976) (BLGA) establishes the Barbuda Council: Section 3. (1) For the purposes of this Act there shall be established a Council for Barbuda which shall administer the system of local Government for the Island constituted by this Act. (2) The Council shall be a body corporate by the name of “the Barbuda Council” with perpetual succession and a common seal, and power to purchase, acquire, hold, mortgage and dispose of land and other property. (3) The island shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Council which is hereby invested with the powers set out in this Act”
The BPM said the Barbuda Local Government Act is entrenched in the Constitution of Antigua and Barbuda and can only be changed in the manner prescribed there.
“Specifically, only the people of Barbuda and its Council can make changes to the BLGA. The Council on behalf of the people of Barbuda will continue to manage the island of Barbuda under its communal land system. The lands of Barbuda are not for sale,” the statement adds