The National, Wednesday October 16th, 2013
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
THE State has urged traditional landowners to register their land and use it for development rather than selling it for short-term benefits.
Scott Gumahusa, the Department of Lands and Physical Planning manager for customary land registration, said this in Banz, Jiwaka, during a two-day workshop for department officers, land mediators, community leaders and representatives of the Jiwaka provincial administration.
Gumahusa said to have security over their land now and for their future generations, they must register it.
He said state-owned land was fully used.
The State and developers are now looking at customary land to build new institutions and for business purposes.
“It doesn’t mean that when you register a land, the State will take it away from you,” he said.
“You will only lease it out to the State or any other developer and benefit as long as the developer or State settles on your land. You will still have the land title.”
He said customary landowners would still have titles over their land when they registered it and the titles were non- transferable.
Gumahusa said the new Voluntarily Customary Land Registration Act passed by parliament in March last year opened the door for the landowners to register their land under an Incorporated Landowner Group.
He said land was regarded as precious by the clan and its members had to form ILGs to benefit from their land.
“My office will not allow individuals or family groups to register their land. We want the whole clan to form a group and register their land,” he said.