Arawak Homes Chairman Franklyn Wilson would not confirm or deny yesterday that he ordered his tractors to clear a plot of land located in Pinewood Gardens, which one woman claims she has owned for 17 years.
Thelma Johnson told the media yesterday that she is the legal owner of those six parcels of vacant land in Pinewood the company cleared and that she was shocked to receive a call notifying her that tractors were clearing her-property without permission.
Johnson’s husband, Alvah Johnson, said he learned from the individual operating the tractor that the machine was being operated on behalf of Arawak Homes. “It was Arawak Homes’ tractor,” he said, “The per= son who was clearing said they were cutting it down for Arawak Homes.”
He added that the day after the clearing, both he and Arawak Homes’ lawyers arrived at the property simultaneously to post “no trespassing” signs.
“I said let me get a camera and take a picture of them (no trespassing signs) on the ground, but when I got the camera and [spun] around they jumped in their car and left,” Mr Johnson said.
Mrs Johnson said she was taken aback when she found out that Arawak Homes had staked a claim on property she bought back in 1993.
“It was a complete shock to me,” she said.
“When you have invested in property it is for a reason, not for someone to come and take it away from you.
“I have children and grandchildren who I’d like to leave some sort of property to, not for someone else to come and take it away from me.”
The company has recently been building a reputation for bulldozing properties it claims belong to it.
Last month, Chief Justice Sir Michael Barnett struck out a request for an injunction against Arawak Homes, by the Nassau Village/Sea Breeze Property Owners Association and also ruled in favor of Arawak Homes in its claim that it had better title to the land in Pinewood Gardens.
In September, Arawak Homes bulldozed the home of a Pinewood Gardens family and more than one year before razed a church.
Wilson told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that his company does not clear land it does not own.
“Arawak Homes would not go onto a property to clear it if we knew it belonged to someone else,” he said.
“Arawak Homes only clears land it believes to be its own.”
President of the company, Frannon Wilson, recently urged anyone doubting the validity of their land title to come in and sort things out with the company.
The Johnsons’ son, Julian Alvah Johnson, took a more stern posture to the news that Arawak Homes had claimed what the family believes to be his mother’s land, saying if the company attempts to build, its structure would also be torn down.
“We are sending notice to Arawak Homes that if you build it here we’re going to take it down,” he said.
“They have equipment and we have equipment also. We’re going to take it down.”
The Johnsons also hired attorney Carl Bethel to assist them in determining whether they have good title.
“Here we are now fighting with Arawak Homes to keep this land that we purchased,” said Mrs Johnson.
“We’re going to fight and do whatever it takes.”
By CHESTER ROBARDS