Settlers want compo over land

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 8th, 2013

 A GROUP of displaced settlers in Morobe have served a National Court summons on Dr Peter Kora in Lae claiming compensation for a piece of land outside the city.

The 90 settlers have lodged claims totalling close to K500,000 in compensation for the loss of their homes and livelihood following their eviction from the land known as Portion 791 at 9-Mile, beside the Highlands Highway, in March.

The land, measuring about a hectare, was bought by Kora for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

Forty-eight claimants are identified in the summons that was delivered to Kora by former ward councillor Kimson Dirua and witnessed by the affected community.

According to the writ of summons, Kora, as the developer, should be legally obligated to compensate the settlers for the improvements done to the land. 

Dirua said they were claiming compensation for the homes and other structures, fruit trees and gardens.

But Kora said the summons were defective because he was not the party to be served.

Kora claimed he had acquired the piece of land through proper processes and after verifying that there were no outstanding debts or liabilities attached to it.

“I understand your situation but I am not responsible for paying compensation for your losses,” he told the settlers.

A Morobe government official had claimed earlier, that the land was still registered as state land and would be recouped by the provincial government through its business arm, Kumgie Holdings.