Big fight for sea front in Buttonwood Bay


Lot 16-31-4670 the freehold property of Primrose Gabourel for 1.35 acres of sea bed had a lease issued for it on August 12, 2005; three months later there was an approval for sale on November 28, 2005 and a ‘rapidito’ three days later by December 1, 2005 title was issued. Needless to say that the entire transaction took place under the fast and loose days of the PUP administration.

By early October 2006, the filling of the sea began at the time, the owner’s son, Dion Zabaneh had mobilized heavy equipment with loads and loads of material being dumped into the sea, reclaiming property. It was not more than two days of work when Zabaneh was issued a stop order and the entire matter fell out of the headlines.

Suddenly, last week the heavy equipment and fill material again began to be mobilized in the area and again the stop order came. On Friday, Zabaneh was served with an environmental stop order for conducting an activity without getting environmental clearance. So, again the work has come to a halt.

On Wednesday morning, Zabaneh could take it no more and called Wave Radio’s Fus Thing Da Mawnin as the hosts discussed how it was possible for sea bed to be issued as property. He first began by stating that property is title land and vented that there are prominent members of the PUP who have sea-front property and have reclaimed land very much in the way he is doing but they have not been stopped.

“I am fed up, I am tired of this I am not doing anything illegal, we went to court, the person lost, we’ve been fighting this in litigation and we won it. And every day I go out there to do something they bring a next joker to come with some fake paper to harass us,” shouted Zabaneh. What’s more he exclaimed that there are more serious matters that should be of concern saying, “Mek we talk bout the airport, that was given signature free. Hold yah bredda, hold ya sista. Tek it!”

It appears that Zabaneh’s lashing out is directed at one family. The land he is reclaiming is almost immediately behind Brodie’s on the Philip Goldson Highway and by our checks, that property is owned by SUMA limited, a company associated with the Musas. Added to that is that other ‘sea bed’ properties in the immediate area are also held by SUMA limited. His venting then is directly targeted at the Musas, who are also principals in the Airport Concession Company that runs the Philip Goldson international airport.

It seems that it is PUP against PUP, but it seems that the oligarchs are winning this battle for the sea.

When we visited the site, it was curious to note that as we had mentioned, the land being reclaimed by Zabaneh is immediately behind Brodie’s, on the map which we have of the area, that lot is actually lot 16-31-4695. Gabourel’s lot is 16-31-4670. So, it may well be that Zabaneh is actually fighting to fill land that belongs to the very people who are trying to stop him. Kind of like poetic justice if you ask us.