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Gezira project law receives wide criticism

The Gezira Farmers and Transporters Alliance has criticized the Gezira Project Law of 2021, which allows overseas companies to buy land in it.

Khartoum: AlTaghyeer

Hassabo Ibrahim, a member of the secretariat of the Gezira and Manaqil Farmers Alliance, said on SUNA’s platform that the project law reflected all what was wrong with the 2005 law, which farmers had rejected.

He pointed out that the law contradicts the wishes and interests of farmers, and thought that it would return the area to prehistoric times.

Ibrahim confirmed that he had been personally absent and suspended, although he is a member of the project’s steering committee.

He also, explained that the law mentioned “things that violate the ownership of the land”, such as attributing land ownership to the government, including land leased to its rightful owners.

This assumption is not valid”, he said, while noting that the land has not been leased since 1960.”

Ibrahim called for the adoption of a democratic law that represents the will and interests of farmers, agricultural workers and the rest of the parties, provided that it is based on basic principles that include people’s visions and aspirations.

He stressed the need to focus on general principles in drafting the Gezira and Manaqil Project Law, which is to restrict selling, settling and renting land individual owned property exclusively for the benefit of the state, in accordance with the controls of project’s board of directors.

The steering committee member also demanded focus be placed on addressing owners’ issues fairly and objectively.

An Infringement on Farmers’ Freedoms

For his part, a member of the Gezira and Manaqil Farmers Alliance, Muhammad Ahmed Hamtak, said that the legislator arranged interests according to his main priority; the beneficiaries.

Muhammad also accused the legislator of encroaching on the freedoms of the farmers and obligated them to a crop composition determined by the administration’s liking.

The Farmers Alliance member pointed out that the law stipulates that any transgression of this structure set by the administration is a crime and that this is a precedent that did not even occur during the colonial era.

He added that the law created a defective board of directors whose decisions are confined to drawers and cannot be implemented.

Hemtak indicated that the Gezira project is considered a national project and is affiliated with the Ministry of Finance, pointing out that the law did not specify the entity financing the project, nor did it specify the share of the farmer, the government, or the administrative services.

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