South Sudan NEWS PORTAL
Some residents of Gudele’s Block 4 have expressed concerns over attempts by a church to displace them from pieces of land on which they have already settled.
Early this week, local leaders from the area said they were notified by Stone International Church that they plan on expanding the land that the church currently occupies.
The church has reportedly got permission to expand to 40 plots. But these 40 plots include over 20 homes already occupied by the residents.
During a visit to the site, Eye Radio noted a mixture of concrete and semi-concrete houses have been constructed around the church.
According to the residents, the expansion of the church is an attempt to grab their land.
The Stone International Church is reportedly a ministry under the self-proclaimed Prophet Peter A.D. who is said to be the son of T.B Joshua, who visited Juba recently on President Salva Kiir’s invitation.
It reportedly wants to construct a school and a residence quarters for orphans.
Speaking during a meeting at Gudele Block 4, some residents said the move would render them homeless.
They demanded the government to clarify why a church would want to encroach into private lands that are already occupied.
Some vowed not to allow the church expand onto their homes.
However, a meeting organized Thursday by local leaders to agree on a joint position of those who will be affected by the demolition, ended in disarray.
“The person wants to sell us out, we are not going to allow that to happen. Why do they want to take our land, this is unacceptable,” said home owner Isaac (not real name).
Another plot owner stated that: “This self-proclaimed prophet went to Nigeria last week. He came back and wants to destabilize our situation, and we will not accept that.”
Some residents say they were informed that the church got permission to expand into their plots by the government of Jubek State.
“They said it was the President who ordered for this process. They also said Jubek state governor also approved it. If Jadalla wants to do anything, he should come and talk to us here,” exclaimed a Moses.
But the Deputy Mayor of the Juba City Council, Thiik Thiik Mayardit, disagrees.
He told Eye Radio that there are no such orders given to demolish existing houses to pave way for the church expansion in the area.
“That is not true, because nobody can give or take another person’s plot. They were just only told that he [prophet] is supposed to be given another place, not that place,” Thiik clarified.
“The President did not write anything, and he does not write such letters.So, it is not true. Nobody has written any letter.”
The residents told Eye Radio that soldiers have already been deployed in the area and some of them have been arrested for protesting the attempts by the church to grab their land.
Thiik Thiik described the actions by the church as unwarranted, adding that he [prophet] is only lying and I know that guy”.
Land issue is one of the causes of conflict in South Sudan.
On Monday, clashes over a demolition exercise erupted at a suburb of Juba.
The incident happened after Jubek State started demolished homes at Gumbo and Juba Two areas.
Original full article available on the website → Eye Radio
Credits : Eye Radio (https://eyeradio.org) → Author : South Sudan PRESS REVIEW
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