I’m sure by now you have heard about the notorious and almost legendary Ghana ‘Land Guards’ and you may even think you know who they are and what they do. If by chance you never heard of them let’s provide you with a little back story. For about a decade elders in Accra have been using young unemployed men to intimidate a person building on the land,that they believe belongs to the elders, chief, or big man! These young men started calling themselves land guards, the name has stuck and the practice has spread across the country. In some extreme cases land guards have destroyed property, harmed workers on site and in at least one case led to the death of a worker. In order to combat this lunacy Ghana incorporated punishments to deter this practice in the Land Act 2020(Act 1036) Section 12(1).
In this section it states ‘a person who unlawfully exercises or purports to exercise supervision of land development in a location and has no interest in the land or prevents a developer or through another person unlawfully uses force or violence to prevent access to land or drives away that person commits an offence.”
Which means if someone is presenting themselves as a land guard they can be arrested and jailed between 5 -15 years! They are not playing games with nonsense anymore in Ghana. Not all areas experience land guard problems. Land sold by BlackUnicorn Properties does not have any issues with land guards allowing people to build freely without intimidation.
Unfortunately, not everyone is aware of the new law and the consequences laid out for partaking in this form of informal employment. As the land guards are all paid to be destructive. Hopefully, the new Land Act 2020 will see a reduction in land guard activities in Accra and across the nation.