Zenag boss denies deal for market

National

Zenag Chicken in Mumeng, Morobe, should have had the courtesy to formally advise the Bulolo district development authority (DDA) to relocate a market it had built instead of bulldozing the facility, says district chief executive Tae Gwambalek.
Gwambelek said the market had cost K50,000 to build based on a DDA resolution.
Zenag bulldozed the facility built on a triangular piece of land next to Portion 351 in Mumeng.
“The market was built with an understanding between MP Sam Basil and (company owner) Philip Leahy that the DDA would build the facility and hand it over to the company to manage and maintain,” Gwambalek said.
“This is because over the years, the company was unable to provide a market to serve thousands of its employees, the locals and the public servants at Mumeng.”
However, a court order against the local landowners over the ownership of the portion, delayed the completion of the facility.
Landowner spokespersons Barnabas Gwake, Yana Joseph and Yawing Gisungtau said acting Morobe administrator Sheila Harou was unable to disclose the court decision during a joint meeting on June 8 this year.
However, Leahy said that the market was built on part of Portion 250 which was company land since 1946.
Leahy said that Portion 250 was under a 99-year registered government lease.
“This lease was examined by the Lands Department head for Morobe Jonah Suvi and the National Court also examined the lease and ruled in the company’s favour,” Leahy said.
He said that there was no agreement between the company and the Bulolo DDA to have the market built.
“I strongly opposed it; I was approached to give more land over and above portion 444 by the Bulolo DDA and I personally said ‘no’, protested to the Bulolo DA and his representative in Mumeng station that he was erecting a building on company land , Portion 250 which was an illegal act,” Leahy said.
He said that at a meeting in the provincial administrator’s office in Lae on June 21, 2017, Gwambelek was informed by his son Stanley Leahy that the company had a National Court decision and that the land where the Bulolo DDA
erected a building was part of Portion 250.
“Stanley Leahy asked the Bulolo DDA to remove the illegal building at the time forthwith.
“The acting provincial administrator Sheila Harou instructed Bulolo DDA to find a new site and move the building.
“This was four months ago, all this is recorded in the minutes of this meeting, point number six to be precise,” Leahy said.
“Let me be very clear about this.  The Bulolo DA knew he was breaking PNG law, he was illegally erecting a building on company land, Portion 250, without permission and in defiance of my protests,” Leahy said.

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