PM CLAIMS GRANT MAKING $$ OFF CHRISTOPHE HARBOUR LAND DEALS By Sheena Brooks While political debate over the acquisition of lands at the Southeast peninsula continues, Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas has added a new twist, claiming Lindsay Grant, leader of opposition party PAM, is getting rich off the same land deals. Earlier this week Douglas said that the accusations made on Grant’s political platform about the government profiting from sale of peninsula lands were ‘the height of hypocrisy”. “There are some who go around saying that we are selling land off to foreign people. What absolute nonsense! Those who claim we are selling the land off to foreigners, they are the ones who now going behind our backs to the same foreigners over there at Christophe Harbour. “They are the ones, like Mr. Lindsay Grant in particular, they are the ones who are going begging those same white foreign people who are buying the land from private people, not government, on the Southeast peninsula. He is the one who is now making a whole heap of money by doing the land transfers for those same white foreign people that he has been criticizing on the political platform of buying land here in St. Kitts-Nevis. “This is the height of hypocrisy and that is why the point must be made that on the issue of land distribution in St. Kitts-Nevis there is a lot of hypocrisy coming from the opposition, People’s Action Movement.”He had also said on another occasion that, “Some of those who are banging their mouths and are accusing the government wrongly, they are the ones who collected the cash because they owned it themselves and try to pass it off as if government was doing something wrong!”The land in verbal dispute refers to the 2 500 acres (104,544,000 square feet) and 7 miles of beaches acquired by foreign developers to construct a world-class golf course, marina village, luxurious villas and at least one major hotel. PAM has maintained that the government acquired private land at the Southeast peninsula under the guise of acquisition for public use. “Auberge’s acquisition of hundreds of acres of land on the peninsula … saw the Douglas government involving itself by acquiring those private lands to pass on to the said Auberge group,”an excerpt from the opposition’s newspaper, The Democrat, had stated. Christophe Harbour Development’s COO LeGrand Elebash had denied purchasing lands from the government. “Probably one of the largest misconceptions that has made it into the public realm is that somehow Christophe Harbour acquired land from government to proceed with this development when it is a well-known fact that these lands were privately owned. The developers of Christophe Harbour and our predecessors acquired lands on the Southeast peninsula from private owners,”he had publicly informed. Grant was recently questioned at his party’s most recent press conference as to his involvement with the sale of said lands to the developers, to which he said, “I do not work for Christopher Habour.”However Grant has yet to come forward regarding whether or not he has acted in his capacity as a corporate attorney in handling the land transfers from private owners to the developers of the South East peninsula.
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