Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited the distressed residents who were affected by Thursday’s demolition of illegally structured houses near Clifton in Bernard Lodge, St. Catherine. The demolition followed a directive from Holness, who had stated that criminals were illegally selling the lands. Additionally, Dennis Brooks, senior communications strategist for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, also said that the police are confident of the existence of gang activities in the region.
According to reports, approximately thirty illegal housing projects built on the Sugar Company of Jamaica lands face obliteration. The demolition team arrived early Thursday morning with sledgehammers and evacuators, but the residents were told that the roofed houses would not be demolished. However, the other residents who invested hundreds of thousands in their incomplete houses were demanding answers. Holness and Member of Parliament for St Catherine Southern, Fitz Jackson, visited the site to offer some comfort about the situation.
According to Holness, some residents will be relocated, while others will need to explain to the Sugar Company of Jamaica how they became landowners. One of the homeowners, Shaniel Francis, demanded to know if she would receive compensation for the $800,000 she spent on the land where her unfinished house was demolished. Another concerned resident, Sharia Adamson, said she spent approximately $500,000 to build her unfinished house.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Holness informed Parliament that gangsters have been selling properties under the pretence of ownership or constructing on them, endangering the security of future growth in the Bernard Lodge region.
Watch the videos with Holness below.