Govt threatens legal action against Cevons Waste Management over unlawful lease of State lands

Attorney General Anil Nandlall, SC, has written to the Chief Executive Officer of Cevons Waste Management, Morse Archer demanding that he vacates several plots of land owned by the National Sports Commission (NSC) which was unlawfully leased to the company.

In a letter dated February 16, 2021, Nandlall said that on or about December 18, 2018, former Commissioner of the Guyana Lands and Survey Commission (GLSC) purported to lease the lands known as Area C, Tract B, and Le Repentir, Georgetown to the garbage disposal company.  The lease is for a term of 50 years. According to the Attorney General, the NSC is a body corporate, that is separate and apart from the GLSC.

Nandlall reminded Archer that his company had previously held a purported lease from the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown (M&CC) in respect of the same lands. The lease, according to him, was voided because the legal title did not reside with the M&CC.

Similarly, Nandlall said that the GLSC had no legal authority to lease the lands to Cevons Waste Management or anyone else. “Every purported dealing with the said lands is unlawful, null, void, and of no effect. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and lease which contain a promise to sell the lands to your company are both unlawful, void and of no effect,” Nandlall tells Archer.

In any event, Nandlall stated that the former Commissioner of GLSC had no lawful authority to promise to sell the lands as such power resided with the President of Guyana under Section 3 (1) of the State Lands Act. Consequently, the Attorney General informed Archer that the sub-leases which he executed with Sol Guyana Inc. and Corum Restaurant Holdings Inc. are also unlawful.

“I note that you have paid a substantial sum of money under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which appears to be a sum of money paid to secure the grant of a lease and title to the lands. This is not only a mechanism not provided for in the State Lands Act and Regulations made thereunder but is a procedure unheard of at the Guyana Lands and Surveys Commission (GLSC).”

According to the Attorney General, the entire transaction was done without the knowledge and authority of the owner of the lands, the NSC which compounds the impropriety, and illegality which permeated it. He further tells Archer, “I am to inform you that the NSC has plans to use these lands for the development of sports and the construction of facilities in relation thereto.”

Taking this into consideration, Nandlall pointed out that Cevons Waste Management, nor its sub-lessees have no right to use or occupy the lands. The Attorney General is, therefore, demanding that the lands be vacated on or before March 31, 2021, otherwise legal proceedings will be filed against the garbage disposal company and its sub-lessees.

Failing to vacate the lands, will also cause a report to be made to the Criminal Investigations Department of the Police Force with a request to investigate and proffer all criminal charges arising out of the transactions. A copy of the Attorney General’s letter will be sent to the sub-lessees.