Clan vetting issue

Letters, Uncategorized

THE current clan base vetting process to identify genuine landowners is not synchronised to comprehensively recognise genuine landowners.
It has a potential to delegitimise traditional ownership values and principles.
Under clan base vetting, where do the landowners in question derive their legitimacy from.
Is it from being a member of a clan or by owning something on the subject land itself?
Clan base vetting for landowner identification must place the indigenous subsistence farmer at the centre of its analysis and not the clan.
Legitimacy of ownership should be derived from the land in question.
That is, noting specific features such as lakes, water holes, hunting grounds, ceremonial sites, burial grounds, gardens, beaches etc and link those features to their owner, the custodian.
The clan is a secondary matter. Once the owner is identified against the feature, the clan comes in. Not the cart before the horse.
Thus Land Investigation Report (LIR) does that. It is the most acceptable method to use.
The existing physical or manmade features are vital elements that supports and reaffirms the questions of ownership.
This is effectively noted through Land Investigation base report currently used by the Department of Lands and Physical Planning.
Specific features like gardens, houses and hunting grounds are identified against the real landowners.
Consequently the question of legitimacy in land ownership is verified through these features.
Land ownership derived based via clan based vetting is not touch base and is therefore hang loose.
Names can come in from all directions under a clan’s umbrella.
The clans may not necessarily live or dwell in those project areas in question.
One need to understand that traditionally clans from the same tribe can live in one area or miles apart.
That is, some clan from the same tribe can be in a same project area whilst others way out 100 miles.
But the problem here is what if a related clan lives 100 miles or way out of a project area and still wants to be a beneficiary, going by the clan base vetting process.
Under this scenario, affected landowners within the immediate project impact area and those sister clan members from way out will often argue over their rights.
Under the clan base vetting approach, the flood gates of confusion is open and ownership rights are diluted and distorted.
It gives way for illegitimate people to affiliate via clanship channel and argue for legitimacy.
I strongly believe clan base vetting should be done away with and LIR system be used.
That way a lot of discrepancies will be addressed.
Alternatively, the Lands Department should be the one doing all these work using the most effective Land Investigation Reporting approach.

Manevi Gene
Landmark Valuers &
Consultants
Goroka

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