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“So, elections are approaching and there is no other way for them to cajole us”.


They have legalized land for IDPs in Koda, 4 years later, before elections.

Manon Bokuchava, Kvemo Kartli

There are 448 inhabitants in the village Koda of Tetritskaro says local government. The IDPs from Eredvi, Tskhinvali and Liakhvi ravine were settled in Koda in November-December of 2008. Despite having lived in Koda for 4 years already, the government has now legalized the land.

The last week of being minister for Koba Subeliani began exactly with this arrangement, on 22 of June. The minister of IDPs, together with Davit Kirkitadze – Kvemo Kartli regional governor distributed property certificates among IDPssettled in Kodaat a ceremony.

According to the information from the website of Ministry of Internally Displaced Persons from the Occupied territories, Accommodation and Refugees of Georgia: ”Koba Subeliani  gave IDPs settled in Koda the extracts from the Civil Registration Agency and they became plenipotentiary owners of flats. According to the president’s order if IDPs sell those flats for the next 2 years, they will not have to pay income tax to the budget”-we read in the news prepared by press service of the ministry.

Assignment of lands into possession continues. Now they are transferring the flats in possession to those IDPs who were not in Tetritskaro at the end of June and could not sign the corresponding document. Human Rights Centre was interested in this process and visited  residents of Koda on the 7th of July.

While transferring the documents about possession, Davit Kirkitadze, the governor of Kvemo Kartli declared ”We are the witnesses of a very important process. You know that people incurred after the Russia-Georgia war have lived here for a long time. Today they were given the settled lands in possession”.

Why did it take so much time, a full 4 years to transfer the dwelling places in possession? People established in Koda have the only one answer for it-“I do not know whether or not   you were there on that day, but they gave us this unstamped and meaningless extracts from the CRA. So, elections are approaching and there is no other way for them to cajole us. They evicted us from the paradise and settled into the desert. We are supplied with drinking water only 4-5 hours a day. The lands they gave us are 5-7 km away from the residential area, there is no irrigation water for those plots, and we use rain for that purpose. They have appointed observer in each residential building to keep us silent, if  you say even a word they will turn you out”-says the elderly woman while talking to humanrights.ge.

IDPs state even Lavrenti Beria [security minister of USSR] could have envied the work of security service in Koda settlement. We are convinced of it. When speaking with a local resident, a man of 35 approached us, demanded documents, and suggested that we follow him. “I am supervisor. Show me your docs. Do you hold permit to arrive here and talk with locals?” he asked.

We decided it would be better if we did not retreat and we did not show him any documents.  We demanded him to introduce us to the person whom he was speaking with on the phone. So, we followed him into one of the IDP residential buildings. On our way to the destination, the observer concluded we were not enemies and told us his name.

“I am Zurab Romelashvili, an employee of Eredvi municipality and observer. The government is doing everything for the people here. Has anybody complained to you?” he asked us. We did not tell him names of complaining IDPs but informed him what they were complaining about.

Zurab Romelashvili took us to Gocha Vazagashvili, head of economic service of the Eredvi Municipality. The latter carefully checked our documents and inquired purpose of our visit. “Do not get me wrong, but you should inform us about your personality and purpose of your visit before your arrival,” he clarified.

Afterwards, Mariam Beruashvili, observer of the third residential building accompanied us to see around the Koda settlement. We started to check complaints of IDPs with her.

“In the fall, drinking water was supplied 5 times a day for 2 hours. Now it is summer and the water level has lowered, so the water-supply reduced with half an hour. It is true that the plots, which were assigned to us, are not irrigated but Davit Kirkitadze helped us to cultivate those lands. In fact, the government did everything to get us a fitness gym too. The government does everything to help us. As for observers’ duties, we are entitled to find out the real needs of the people and to inform the government about them,” Mariam Beruashvili said. We also spoke about elections. She said there is no connection between the upcoming election and the registration of accommodations.

The IDPs who cannot speak loudly because of total control in the Koda settlement, state in private talks that they preferred the government to create preconditions for the return of their native occupied villages instead registering accommodation in IDP settlements.

Photos from the official website of the Ministry of Internally Displaced People from Occupied Territories, Refugees and Accommodation of Georgia are used in the article.

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