The National, Thursday February 12th, 2015
By REBECCA KUKU
A ROW has developed between the State and a private company over a piece of land in the National Capital District which was recently used as a temporary market at Koki.
Moresby South MP Justin Tkatchenko yesterday presented a letter from the Lands Department to the people of Koki Wanigela saying the piece of land, identified as Portion 2569, Granville (Koki), in Port Moresby would be forfeited and given back to them for recreational purposes. Tkatchenko said the Lands Department had issued a letter to Kitogara Ltd to forfeit the land.
He alleged that the company had failed to pay land rental which had accumulated to K22,500, and had not complied with the conditions on the lease agreement. But Kitogara Limited managing director Daniel Hii told The National the lease was given to the company for commercial development and not for recreational purposes as Tkatchenko claimed.
Hii said all their lease rentals had been paid except for this year.
“We have the receipt for the lease rentals we paid for last year and the year before that,” he said.
“So I can understand if they say K7,500. I don’t get why Justin is saying we owe K22, 500 as outstanding rent.”
Hii said they were also complying with the land lease agreement for commercial development.
“We have an approved Locality Plan and Planning Application approval from the NCD Physical Planning Board (in 2012) and we are waiting for building approval before we start construction,” he said.
“We will continue our stand that the land was leased to us for commercial development.”
Kitogara Limited acquired the 99-year State lease in 2006. The National has obtained a copy of the State lease, which was granted to the company initially owned by the late Frank Griffin, whose family is still involved in a proposed development of the Koki land.
The company acquired the land for a multi-phased shopping, residential and hotel development. The approval was signed by then Physical Planning Board chairman Michael Malabag on March 29, 2012.