Applications made under the return of undeveloped land scheme, set up on October 1, 2020, by the Seychelles government, will be reviewed this month, said the Ministry of Land and Housing in a press statement.
The scheme applies to land which was either compulsorily acquired by the state under the Lands Acquisition Act of 1977 or acquired by private agreement by the government from Seychellois individuals in the national interest during the period 1977 to 1993.
The ministry has received a total of 148 applications under the scheme.
During the hearings of the Truth, Reconciliation and National Unity Commission (TRNUC) that started in 2019, many Seychellois individuals came forward with cases of unjustified land acquisition by the state that took place after the 1977 coup, which was led by President France Albert Rene and the Seychelles People’s United Party. They argued that during the 16-year period of one-party rule, their land was taken without fair compensation or  in order to punish them for being opposed to the regime
Under the new scheme, undeveloped land not earmarked by the government to be used in the public interest will be considered for return to the owner or heirs, and persons wishing to lodge claims had from October 1 to December 31, 2021, to do so.
In a statement to members of the National Assembly after the launch of the scheme, Vice President Ahmed Afif explained that from 1977 to 1993, several plots of land were taken by the government in the national interest to be used for development projects.
“When this happened, the government either took the land or came to an agreement with the owners on compensation. It was clear that the act of taking private land created much bitterness because some felt they were victimised because they did not see any valid reasons for it or they said that they did not get justice in the compensation that was given for the land,” he said.
The Ministry of Lands and Housing and the Advisory Committee of the scheme will submit recommendations to President Wavel Ramkalawan following the review of the applications.
Ramkalawan said in May last year that the current government will work to rectify injustices related to land acquisition where possible.
He made the proclamation when he appeared before the TRNUC on May 13.  

Source: Seychelles News Agency