Landowners win court battle, share K7 million

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 15th November 2011

AFTER almost nine years of court battles, the Kundiawa Water Supply (KWS) landowners can now receive K6.8 million after a Supreme Court ruled in their favour.
KWS landowner group chairman John Kua, who had been pursuing the matter for the past eight years, was a relieved man when confirming the total payout of K6,825,970.70.
Kua said the three landowner groups were Simbaiko, Okondie and Yo ngomugl. The KWS area includes the catchment area and the pipeline from the village to the town.
Kua said his trip to Kundiawa this Friday was to make the public announcement, form a finance committee and distribute the money.
“We have been pursing the matter for almost nine years through the courts and worked hard to get all the necessary documents ready for the Lands Department and the PNG Water board,” Kua said yesterday.
“We served a section (5) notice claim against the State in 2005 and after three weeks we also served a certain court order to the office of the Solicitor General.
“Nobody was around to support us and never thought this would eventuate.
“Eventually we went to court in 2007 and filed an application to take the state to court.
“In 2008 the court gave certain orders to Lands Department to survey, evaluate and give the amount,” he said.
Kua said in 2009 the evaluation was completed and the total amount was given.
Last year the Lands Department wrote to the Finance Department to make the funds available.
“And in June last year the cheque was released and we picked it up from them.
“But certain false allegations were levelled at me saying I bypassed certain administrative processes from the office of the Solicitor General as well as from the finance department.
“The two offices appealed to the supreme court not to release that cheque of K6.8 million in July last year.
“But the a three-man bench was in our favour and we won the case which started in July last year and ended on May 25 this year.
“Now everything is under control and we are prepared to go home and make the formal announcement and distribute the money to the KWS landowners,” Kua said