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Well blow me down; the building cha cha.

Now it is an old story -- and that in itself, is the tragedy.

One of those that leaves people shaking their heads about "the system" in Bahrain.

No, it is not the recent good article about the "continuing credulity" of people, towards smugglers (well it is illegal, so it must be smuggling) bringing exotic beasts into the country, and displaying them at the Isa Town markets.

The must-be-blind authorities, hardly Sherlocks, surely should be able to solve this one, virtually in a morning.

Just go to Isa town -- for starters.

No action, no traction, the problem just goes on and on and on ... zzzzzzzzz

No, it is about the rather ridiculous story of the building which was bought, not just by anyone, but the government, who presumably got deeds and title for their purchase, on behalf of the National Institute for Human Rights (NIHR).

And so, in kicks the justice system, for a bit of "building football" worthy of the Premier League.

Once, the building was "rented" by the NIHR, from a "tenant farmer," used in the broad sense -- who presumably leased it from the actual owner of the land -- and may well have felt grizzled when the transfer of title went from the previous owner to the government, and on to the NIHR.

But the tenant farmer middleman did not, apparently, recognise the new owner (NIHR) and sent them a bill for BD45,000 in "back rent."

Naturally the NIHR, now the building owner, refused.

Well, blow me down and call me flighty, but the court agreed.

A legion of lawyers later, the decision was reversed "on appeal."

NIHR/government 2 vs Former Middleman 1

And presumably, here ended the charade.


Another appeal by the thought to be, and obviously financially-flushed, rejuvenated middleman.

NIHR 2 vs Middleman 2

"We are not moving," says the NIHR; bring on your biggest, bruising, bunker buster bomb! We have title and we have deeds.

So now what? Instant replay please. Someone has committed a tech foul.

More louche lawyers and confrontation; no wonder clutter in the court system.

Surely there are proper title deeds in existence, someone owned the building and someone new, owns it now.

When did the transfer take effect and when did the leasing arrangement from the middleman cease?

Simple as a pimple. Dates please.

The key issue here is a national one, which has ramification for one of Bahrain's treasured interests; investment guarantees which give certainty of ownership.

When someone "buys" something like property, they want certainty that it is indeed theirs.

Otherwise why put up lots of moolah when as in some countries, profitable investments can be nationalised or subject to "sharp practice?"

Either walk away or avoid commitment commensurate to risk, a lose-lose scenario and reputation damaged.

But if the government does own the building, and the government's credit is good, case closed.

And if, after all this time, the government does not ... well we are all in trouble.

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Mar 31, 2015
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