The National, Thursday 11th April, 2013
LANDOWNERS of Tari airport are confused about the Hela provincial administration’s plan to conduct another identification process.
Rolence Haba, the spokesman for the Tipa Kalu tribe that owns part of the land that the airstrip is located, said the people were querying a recent media statement by acting provincial administrator William Bando.
Bando said the K10 million given to the Hela Transitional Authority by the national government would be officially presented to the affected landowners after proper consultation and physical identification was undertaken.
Haba said this was no necessary as the National Lands Title Commission awarded the land to the Tipa Kalu tribe following land mediation and demarcation in 1991.
He said the Tipa Kalu landowners have had enough of playing the backstage to politicians and would take the matter to court if necessary.
“Politics has shown its ugly head and the people are again marginalised,” he said.
“I’m sure that’s the last thing everybody wants, but we will go to that stage if the Tipa Kalu people are bypassed.”
Haba urged the provincial administration not to overlook the principal landowners.
He said that his people refused an earlier payment of K8,330 in 2000 because they said it was not sufficient compensation for the prime land.
Haba added that the funds were transferred to the Natives Money’s Trust Account by the Southern Highlands provincial government.