The National, Friday 24th August 2012
By LEONNIE WAYANG-SEVUA
MOROBE Governor Kelly Naru is being called on to halt all land sales in Lae, Morobe, and to establish a Commission of Inquiry into all land transactions in the city.
A local from Butibam village, outside Lae, Khaie Timothy Aphuoc said Naru should establish a commission of inquiry into the Lands Division to investigate land deals that had been conducted illegally.
Aphuoc is the Busulum Kawac principal customary landowner of Lae City.
“A commission of inquiry will determine whether land deals were conducted legally and how people were awarded land titles,” he said.
“Those found to be involved in corrupt land deals can then be dealt with accordingly.
“There has been a lot said in the media lately about the development of Lae and I urge Lae member Loujaya Toni to come back home and work on determining who the real landowners are.”
Aphuoc said while the leaders of Lae were talking about developing the city, “as things stand, certain land areas in Lae have not yet been determined as state-owned”.
“The status of Lae City is still unclear whether the land is state-owned or belonging to customary landowners,” Aphuoc said.
“We have yet to determine the real landowners and until such time that a decision has been made, I want the selling of land to cease altogether.”