One of the Founding members of the BPM, Mckenzie Frank says the government’s amendment of the Barbuda Land Act is taking away the right of Barbudans to comment on development on the island.
“I feel it is a travesty, a very serious travesty of justice, because the people of Barbuda for over 100 years at least since 1904 have enjoyed the rights to the land over here. Because a law was actually put into force, it was called the 1901 ordinance and they amended it in 1904. Over 100 years ago the people of Barbuda got specific rights to residential, to cultivation and to raising lands here in Barbuda,” said Frank.
The government amended the Barbuda Land Act 2016 in parliament of Thursday, to change the maximum number of years that a lease can be granted from 50 to 99.
The amendment also allows the Cabinet the independent authority to grant 99-year leases, without the consent of the Barbuda Council.
In parliament, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said land in Barbuda belonged to the crown, and the Codrington’s who first possessed the land had no right of ownership.
Frank is accusing the government of fabricating Barbuda’s history.
Frank said, “the document that was put together was a concocted piece of what you call “revised history”. The Germans used to do it in the times of Hitler and it would seem now that the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda and his cohorts are grafting together a new form of history as if to say that the Barbudans never lived here, they never gained any rights to anything and are regarded as tenants and can be kicked out at any time.”