Central Equatoria State, News

I am not a land grabber- Commissioner Wani

By William Madouk


The commissioner of Juba has denied any offense after an accusation that he allotted a piece of land to the Chief Defense Forces, Gen. Santino Deng Wol, and first lady, Mama Mary Ayen Mayardit.

Charles Wani refuted being a land grabber and rubbished a document that labelled him of allotting plot to General Wol, saying it’s a ‘concocted’ material by those who have concealed motives.

“Let me justify, I am not part of land grabbing. And I want to say, I have never given any land to Santino Deng Wol whatsoever it is,” said Wani.

“This document, it is a forged document which my stamps and my signatures have been put there. But actually, I have never given any land to Santino Deng Wol whatsoever it is. And I’m responsible for this answer,” he added.

The Local Government Act Section 8.8 and Section 8.9, provide that the lands belong to the community, but it is regulated by the government.

The commissioner cited that there are many self-proclaimed chiefs who are land cartels that sell public utilities.

Mr. Wani said when the first lady met him over the issue of land, he advised her to consult the community which is the rightful owner, after a self-proclaimed chief gave her forged documents.

He continued saying it was the community that gave the land to the first lady, adding that he only gave the go-ahead for the grader to clear off the grasses.

“[I told her Mama Ayen] you consult the community and discuss with the community on how best they will help you to give you a land, but not me,” the Juba commissioner narrated.

“From there, I left for China, I left the community back here in their consultation until they reached this document that you have seen, I’m not part of land grabbing in this recommendation, it is not me. It is the community,” he noted.

Juba Commissioner was reacting to a question raised by the honorable of the MP at CES transitional assembly who obtained a document signed by him giving a chunk of land to Gen Deng Wol, Mama Ayendit, and her guards.

In March 2023, about eight of the 50 suspected land grabbers arrested in Gondokoro were sentenced to six months in prison.

Last year, the governor’s bodyguards clashed with informal settlers during an assessment tour in the Garbo area which left three people including a soldier killed during the confrontation, according to a police report.

There was also communal fighting that erupted between Tali and Kobura sections near the army (SSPDF) General Headquarters – Bilpam, which also left ten people dead, and others injured due to land issues, and inter-communal clashes.

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