The National-Tuesday, 25th October 2011
By ADRIAN FENIE MATHIAS
SETTLERS occupying the Bagalahu customary land lease portion (Balasiko Tais) in Madang will pay K50 land rental monthly.
It is one of the terms and conditions in a memorandum of agreement signed last Saturday between the settlers and Madib landowner clan, and adjourning landowner clan Madib Braro of Yabob village.
The agreement was facilitated by Madang provincial lands officers, police personnel, a ward councillor and committees of Balasiko Tais settlement.
Madang customary lands officer-in-charge Micah Mer, while explaining the terms and conditions of the agreement, said customary land lease agreements was for residential purpose only.
Mer urged the settlers not to have disputes over land as the court decision on ownership was pending, making the agreement temporary.
“It (agreement) can be terminated upon a court decision,” Mer told the settlers.
He said the government had no approved rate for customary land and it was for the legitimate landowners to decide.
“Government has no say in it but just follows formalities,” Mer said.
Landlord Brian Willie of the Yadib clan of Yabob, who are the landowners of Bagalahu land lease portion, said the agreement was for a period of two years.
Simbai community chairman Jonathan Naiput said the majority of the settlers were from Simbai in the
Usino-Bundi electorate of Madang province.
Naiput said they had negotiated with Yadib clan landowners and bought the land for K500 each by block holders in 2006.
“The first formal agreement was signed in 2008 with rental of K30 monthly and this is the second, with an increase of K20,” Naiput said.