Land group gets certificate after 20-year court battle


AFTER a lengthy wait the Sehazuha landowners of Goroka, Eastern Highlands, have finally received their incorporated land group (ILG) certificate.
Registrar of ILGs at the department of lands and physical planning Max Wagi issued the certificate and the gazettal notice to Sehazuha ILG last week.
The Sehazuha community owns the Mt Otto telecommunications transmission site and has been battling in court for over 20 years to be recognised as the rightful owners, chairman Seth Huke said.
Huke thanked the lands and physical planning department for processing and issuing their ILG certificate and gazettal notice.
“Now that we have the ILG certificate, we will have all outstanding payments processed and paid by Telikom PNG, Digicel PNG and bmobile as per agreements made,” Huke said.
“While waiting for the ILG certificate, many have died and others have given up.
“We strived through and received our ILG certificate at last.
“I thank everyone that helped in different ways to make it possible for us.”
Telecommunications service providers Telikom PNG, Digicel PNG and bmobile have their towers on  Mt Otto.
Huke said they gave Digicel PNG 14 days to meet with the executives of Sehazuha land group to establish dialogue on contracts, community benefit sharing agreements, royalties, grants and immediate release of outstanding payments and business plans.