The views and opinions expressed by the author(s) do not represent the official position of Barbados TODAY.
by Rollins Howard
Our Parliament is supposed to be the highest lawmaking institution in Barbados and therefore it would be reasonable to assume that those who are elected to that august chamber would do their utmost to uphold its integrity.
Whilst there will always be differences of opinion one would expect that by and large the members of that chamber would not do anything to flagrantly disobey the laws which they have made.
Politicians, however, appear to arrogate to themselves powers and rights which in the normal scheme of things most of us ordinary human beings would find most incredible, but politicians seem to be a special sub-species of the homo sapiens.
The Member of Parliament for St Michael East,
Mr Trevor Prescod, has often championed the cause of the squatters (he now prefers to call them landless) in The Belle (Crown land), advising them to resist any attempts to move them or their illegal constructions, in direct opposition to the dictates of the Town and Country Planning Department.
In the Saturday Sun of November 6th, 2021, Mr Prescod is reported to have read “the riot act” to a woman “who was claiming ownership of land at Bellevue, St Michael, which is occupied by squatters.”
He further stated that “the person took it upon themselves, without any Government agency intervening at the time, to do their own subdivision of the land and some of my people in St Michael East, mainly from Licorish Village area, were trying to get access to the land, which she said she had been forking to sell to them.”
He continued: “I just let her know that the land was not hers and that they can’t handle land in that manner. There is a way of getting land transferred – somebody has to be declared the owner and if somebody wants to sell it to you, then there has to be an agreement – and it has to go through the legal process.”
I fail to understand why Mr Prescod was so incensed by the woman’s actions since she was only doing what he had perennially been advising the squatters to do i.e. take possession of land that was not hers.
In fact, she had even taken his advice one step further and done as several other Ministers of Government had been advocating and become an independent entrepreneur, to wit, a real estate agent.
Based on the above I believe that far from forcing the woman to return the money she had received from selling the land he should have been offering her congratulations on her initiative.
To add insult to injury, Mr Prescod was very concerned that her actions “would in some way impact (his) political future and at least the Speaker of Parliament, Arthur Holder, his political future. So, I had to do the best to find a solution to it.”
It seems to me that Mr Prescod is unable to appreciate someone who takes his advice seriously, or rather, someone who when taking his own advice could place him at a serious political disadvantage.