Bounty Killer and Spragga Benz are up in arms over Chinese construction company China Harbour Engineering’s (CHEC) plans to build a gated residential complex on sacred indigenous lands in the parish of St Ann, some of which are reportedly tied to ancestors of National Hero Marcus Mosiah Garvey.
Bounty Killer has cautioned that he was not having it and that a rebellion could be spurred over the matter.
On Tuesday, the Warlord shared a video snippet of journalist Khalilah Reynolds providing a report on CHEC’s plans to build a residential gated community, a hotel, apartments, townhouses and a special economic zone on 740-acres on “land revered for its rivers and ancient indigenous settlements, in Mammee Bay, St. Ann”.
Expressing utter displeasure at the revelation made in the report, Bounty declared that a petition ought to be started and a protest staged.
“A weh bumboclaath dis again it’s time to start a rebellion?🤔 When unuh ago fucking stop provoking our spirit and soul come let’s start a petition against this somebody start it now😕” Bounty captioned the post he shared.
“It didn’t made in stone so it have to change else a protest bout ya bredda,” he added later in response to his Dancehall compatriot Munga Honourable’s comment that the agreement had been made years ago.
For his part Spragga shared the post of Reynolds and ripped into the political directorate, describing them as a set of scoundrels.
“This can’t be true. Jah know mi a develop a DEEEP feeling of disdain for ALL Politicians in Jamaica… PAST AND PRESENT. What a bunch of CORRUPTED SELFISH NO VISION KNUCKLEHEADS WE HAVE BEEN CURSED WITH as government officials. When will we as Jamaicans pay attention and stop be diehearted dummies to both PNP AND JLP and be loyal to JAMAICA?” Spragga wrote.
“And now we hearing of a new ting called Rise Up Movement (RUM) swapping dawg fi monkey …WTF are we doing letting these lowlifes and outright sellouts and thieves lead us into total destruction and second class citizenry in OUR OWN HOMELAND and all for their own personal gain… We need to AUDIT THEM ALL like they do to hustlers and seize an redistribute all their loot…,” he added.
To this Bounty replied: “Not a muma bumboclaath😒🤔😏.”.
In her report Reynolds had also outlined that CHEC, which has been operating in Jamaica since 2009 has been responsible for executing more than 20 projects in Jamaica, among them the North South Highway, Southern Coastal Highway, and Three Miles overhead bridge in Kingston. She noted that while CHEC had commissioned an environmental assessment on the St. Ann lands, a lot of ecological concerns were raised within.
“The report noted that even with the suggested mitigation measures, there would be significant habitat loss. Promises have been made that they will integrate natural elements into the design and relocate habitats. The only issue is the designated development area holds a lot of historical and ecological importance – rivers, Mammee Bay Great House, Roaring River Great House and property tied to Marcus Garvey’s family, and Taino settlements,” she stated.
“So of course this has caused some controversy, especially because the land was given to CHEC as part of the payment for building the North-South highway, so they have every right to use it…,” she added.
On Wednesday, January 3, The Gleaner newspaper reported that CHEC came into possession of the property when it was offered as payment for its construction of North-South Highway 2000, which had reportedly cost more than US$600 million.
The Gleaner further noted that the company had been planning to develop the property since 2014, when Portia Simpson Miller was the Prime Minister.
The plans “were revived in 2017 during the Holness administration”, the Gleaner noted.
The publication noted that the lands “contain sensitive sites, including Roaring River, Little River, Roaring River Great House, Mammee Bay Great House, and at least one Taino settlement, and before that a Redware culture settlement”.
“The wider area comprises an indigenous people’s settlement on the coastline at the mouth of the Little River. These people, referred to as the Redware culture, represented the earliest known cultural group to occupy the island dating circa AD 650,” the EIA, adding that the Redwares were the precursors to the Tainos or Arawaks who arrived in the island two centuries later,” the Gleaner report noted, adding that activists also contend that it’s the home of the grandfather of National Hero Marcus Garvey.
“The initial development site will span 100 acres of the 740 acres. The site itself will have 60 per cent structure and 40 per cent natural elements… But it will still erase or run through parts of the virgin forest, rivers, trees, animals, insects, and potentially parts of its history. This makes the development contentious in some quarters,” the Gleaner stated.
A petition started by Barbara Makeda Blake Hannah back in April 2015 titled Don’t give roaring river lands to China Harbour, which was addressed to the Urban Development Corporation (UDC), had noted that “The people of Jamaica consider these beautiful acres of prime land and the watershed of Roaring River as part of our natural national heritage” and do not agree with the proposed free giveaway of our national land heritage at Roaring River to CHEC.
“The people of Jamaica know that there are other lands that can fulfil the terms of the CHEC contract and which the UDC should offer instead. The people of Jamaica petition them to do so,” she had written.