Bacardi Road shantytown resident claims “we don’t live here free”

Bacardi Road shantytown resident claims “we don’t live here free”
Structures were marked with an X in the Bacardi Road shantytown on Saturday, March 25, 2023.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Residents in the Bacardi Road shantytown yesterday claimed they paid rent to a land owner for more than a 20-year period.

Matny Fren, a truck driver and father of three, told to Eyewitness News that the community stopped making payments in November last year when the alleged owner refused to give the residents a receipt of payment for rent.

According to Fren, the owner has collected a monthly rental fee of $800 from at least 20 individual residents in the small community.

Matny Fren

He spoke to Eyewitness News following an attempted demolition exercise on Saturday when Coalition of Independents leader, Lincoln Bain, an alleged land owner Jestina Curry and supporters advised residents to leave their homes and began to place an X on the buildings. The group was stopped by police who requested Curry provide documentation that authorized the exercise.

During a Facebook live video, Curry said that she made reports to the police about the aggressive behavior of the residents. She claimed that the residents threatened her after a visit to the property.

Curry did not respond to calls placed yesterday.

During an interview with The Nassau Guardian, Curry reportedly said that she never received payments from shantytown residents.

Yesterday, Fren said: “We pay our land from Tina. Tina comes to collect her money from us every month. Her eye come open when we tell her we gonna stop paying until you give us our receipt because we need something if the government come in the back here.”

“She say you need to go to the police to give us a receipt. She says she is the owner of the property. We don’t live free here,” he said.

Lincoln Bain leads a group of supporters and alleged land owner Jestina Curry on a walkabout through the Bacardi Road shantytown on Saturday.

Sidoles Felix, a blind elderly resident, stated that the land his home sits on was built by the former owner, “Mr. Hanna”, who is now deceased. He claimed the owner gifted the building to him.

Despite being unsure of the land debacle, Fren said residents have no intention to initiate violence but simply asked for more time to relocate after Bain and Curry gave the residents a few hours to leave their homes.

“I know this is not our land, this Bahamian land, but he can’t just come in the back here and give the people eight hours. Nowhere in the world, you could find that,” he said.

Felix claimed that during the campaign period, officials visited the community to garner votes from their Bahamian children, but after they gain power, they are forgotten.

“We need somebody to stand up for us because in The Bahamas 45 percent of people who live in this country is Haitian. They might change their name. So, every other five years they come and walk in the back here ’cause they need our support.”

“I don’t come to thief, I don’t come to do violence, I don’t come to do nothing wrong. I come to work,” he said.

For his part, Fren said that Bain’s motives on Saturday were an attempt to paint an angry picture of the small community, but the tactic was unsuccessful.

“Lincoln Bain is a man like everybody,” Fren said.

“How he comes in and the Bahamians come in they ready to fight with us. So, they looking for something. They try to get Haitians to do something. To make us look bad. We don’t look for this. All the police who come in the back here, they reasonable. They told me Lincoln Bain can’t put y’all out in eight hours. That makes no sense in the world.”

The truck driver claimed that over 90 percent of the residents had legal documentation but many were incapable of working due to their age and physical disability.

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This article has been edited.

3 comments

Pierre… Your surname suggests to me that you are a Haitian. You see how ungrateful you people are? We allow you in our country all these years, we footed your bills, now you consulting and encouraging your Haitian people to murder Lincoln Bain, a raw boned Bahamian.

You know that abbeting murder is a serious criminal offense… right? Our government turned against its own Bahamain people to protect illegal Haitian immigrants. In return, the Haitians will soon turn against our government. It is how Haitians operate, they are an ungrateful people, they bite the hands that feed them.

ALL LIES. This article started with lies. The headline said that the Hatians don’t live here free. ALL Bahamians know that it is a lie. What Haitian you know does pay rent or mortgage in The Bahamas? They said they paid rent of $1,000 a month on the news video. In this article it was reduced to $800 a month. Why would anyone pay $1,000 or $800 a month for a clap board shack they built themselves? If you were able to afford to pay such funds, then why not move in an apartment, because that is what regular apartment rent costs per month.

How convenient is it that all of a sudden, after 20 years, you all just decided in concert to stop paying rent, AFTER recently admitting on Live Facebook video (courtesy of Licoln Bain and the COI), that they never paid rent. Boy… these Hatians really slow, it took them 20 plus years to come up with such a clear cut lie. The fact is that they had no receipts because they never paid any rent.

He who asserts must prove. Therefore, the burden of proof lies on the Hatians to produce receipts or vacate the premises immediately. They should also face being arrested for criminal trespass, and to pay damages for the use of Ms. Curry’s land for 20 plus years, and due to her not being able to utilize her land for such period.

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