Be transparent in acquiring land, says villager

National, Normal

The National, Monday 25th March 2013


PRIME land in towns and cities was vital for development but its acquisition must be done through proper and transparent processes, a village elder said in Lae, Morobe.

Former Wampar local level government president and Yalu Land Trust Committee executive Kwalam Tangapi said this after learning that a developer had moved into a disputed portion of land near the city despite a pending court case.

The disputed land is Bewapi portion 27 at 9-Mile outside Lae.

Tangapi, who is also an executive with the Aihi Land Mobilisation Authority, said the authority was the only body that represented the six Aihi villages on land matters.

The villages are Yalu, Hengali, Butibum, Kamkumung, Yanga and Sipaia. 

“Any developer who wishes to acquire customary land in Lae must come and see us so that we identify the rightful landowners of the land so that they deal with them,” Tangapi said.

“In this case, the developer had bought the land from a wrong person. He is from Yanga and does not own land in Yalu.”

Tangapi, from the Ngalukumbun clan in Yalu, said he had brought along the 12 clan heads of the Yalu people to 9-Mile to prove that Bewapi portion 27 belonged to the Waril-Hengali people of Yalu.

A group of villagers from the Waril-Hengali clan, led by the Sagaling family who had early this month protested the alleged sale of their land, converged on the disputed land last Friday armed with placards to show their frustration.  

The Yalu clan claimed the individual from Yanga village, who sold their land to the developer, had not turned up in court on three occasions.