Church wants settlers to leave

National, Normal

The National, Monday October 28th, 2013

 A CHURCH has told more than 240 settlers occupying blocks of lands outside Madang town to leave.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church told the families to move away from Portions 69, 70, 78, 941 and 942.

They were told this after waiting for more than two hours for the church and provincial government officials at the Daleb market in Nagada last Saturday.

Police were present when the deputy administrator community and government affairs Galun Kassas told settlers, mostly highlanders, that a court eviction order would be sought to force them to leave. 

He said notices to leave by the church and provincial government served on the settlers in February giving them a month’s notice had lapsed.

Senior land officer with the lands and property department of the church Andie Aitikus said March 31 had been the deadline.

“An application is being made by our lawyers to have the matter registered by today so that eviction orders can be sought,” he said. 

“The settlers are squatting on church land and buying blocks from people who have no legitimate right. We have the clan representatives backing us.”