State wasting funds on SHP cases: Judge

National, Normal


NATIONAL Court judge, Justice Ambeng Kandakasi yesterday expressed concern that the State was wasting a lot of public funds trying to resolve Southern Highlands landowner disputes.
He even questioned those landowners in Port Moresby filing court application whether they actually represent the villagers back home.
“I went to Semberigi in Erave for land mediation and found that none of the landowners out there knew of any of their representatives in Port Moresby,” he said.
Justice Kandakasi was presiding over a motion by former Southern Highlands governor Hami Yawari, who claimed to represent the Foe clan of Kutubu.
Mr Yawari filed the urgent application to get the court to order facilitators of the licence-based benefit sharing forums to hear his demands, which includes hundreds of millions of kina in outstanding MoA funds.
But Justice Kandakasi refused the application.
The judge found that the motions were filed without supporting affidavits to prove their claims.
He also found that documents were not properly served to all parties in the proceedings.
The judge also noted that some of the orders sought in their notice of motions were already complied with by the State.
“I don’t have time for matters not properly filed before me.
“There is no evidence before me to prove that you landowners were refused to participate in the meetings,” Justice Kandakasi said. 
He remarked that a lot of public funds were wasted on landowner issues.
“Landowners in PNG manage to get the State to pay for their own disputes, a practice which only exist in PNG and nowhere else.
“You landowners should get your house in order by getting together and iron out issues properly in order to be recognised and be included in the project meetings,” Justice Kandakasi said.