The Regional Crime officer Samuel Sanie Sesay of the Kenema police division has disclosed to journalists that the rubber plantation dispute between the people of Mano Jaygbla, Kongohun and Kuawoma villages in the Tunkia Chiefdom in the Kenema district has finally been laid to rest. Explaining Crime Officer Sesay said the incident took place on June 5th 2008 and the police learnt about the incident from one Chief Security Officer Foday Musa Bockarie Koroma of the Mano River Rehabilitation Development Company (MARDCO) who said that on the 5th June 2008 a group of people headed by one O.J., Abdulai Taimeh and others from Kuawoma and Kongohun village entered the rubber estate and started destroying and removing rubber cups which is an indication that the people of Kuawoma and Kongohun are not prepared to work with the MARDCO company and therefore the people of Mano Jaygbla should also not work with the company. He further stated that during this act by the intruders fighting broke out between the people of Mano Jaygbla and Kuawoma, which led to the destruction of properties at Kuawoma village and led to the administration of acid on some people. It was also alleged that a one year two months old baby girl was killed during the fracas.
Mr. Sesay said police visited the scene during which over thirty people were arrested and a huge quantity of machetes and containers carrying acid were all brought into the Kenema police station as exhibits for further investigation.
Police said the issue is a protracted matter that has been creating problems in these villages over the years between the land owning families, the elders, the Paramount Chief PC Alhaji Goway Sama of Tunkia Chiefdom in the Kenema district and the investors.
The crux of the matter is over the sharing of the dues paid by investors for the rubber product. Instead of it being equitably distributed between the land owning families and other beneficiaries it is being converted by very few people for which Paramount Chief Alhaji Amara Goway Sama is being accused. This latest development was of such a high tension that the Resident Minister East Hon. William Juana Smith and the Vice President had to intervene. The Resident Minister East in a meeting admonished the Tunkia Chiefdom people and even requested for a peaceful settlement of the matter even though the people arrested at the village have already been charged to court by the Kenema police. The Vice President when talking to the Kenema people expressed his dismay and total bitterness over the incident among the villagers and even re-echoed the Resident Minister’s request for a peaceful settlement of the whole issue. Crime Officer Sesay further explained that the police in actualizing the concern of the Resident Minister and the Vice President convened a meeting on Tuesday 17/6/08 of the three villages concerned with the Kuawoma rubber plantation estates that was well attended by all the parties, land owning families, chiefdom elders and Alhaji J.S.Swaray the representative of the Pararmount Chief. The police was able to amicably resolve the whole matter and representatives of the three villages made commitment statement for lasting peace within the chiefdom and localities. The sum of seven million seven hundred and thirty five thousand leones meant as loyalties for the three villages which was about to be converted by one village was now equitably distributed among the three villages in the office of the Regional Crime Officer. The conflicting villages have once again reunited as brothers and sisters. Speaking to one of the victims Alie Kallon of Mano Jaygbla who received the acid on his body, he said it was one Agbadie who sprayed the acid on him at the rubber plantation.