Wabag police evict illegal market settlers

National, Normal


WABAG police forcefully evicted illegal settlers living near Wabag town market last week.
The police demolished houses, fencing and other developments on the land paving way for a new permanent market to be constructed.
Enga police commander Supt Martin Lakari said on Tuesday from Wabag that the National Court had issued
an eviction order on Oct 11 and police executed the order to remove the illegal settlers who were mostly from Maramuni sub-district.
He said the illegal settlers had been living there for more than 20 years.
Lakari said the settlers, namely Kimin Wan Kopio and David Popio claiming to be landowners, tried to stop the development and took the provincial lands and physical planning adviser, town mayor, Wabag Rural Holdings and Enga government to court.
He said the court found out that the land the settlers were on was state land and rule in favour of the defendants and ordered the plaintiffs to pay the defendant legal cost and ordered them to leave the land.
Lakari said all the properties on the land were demolished and a bulldozer was levelling the ground for the construction of a new market building.
He said the court ruling was very clear and appealed to other people illegally occupying the state land or property to voluntarily vacate the properties behind and move back to their customary land because
not long police would carry out the same exercise on them.
He said the provincial lands and physical planning office was working to reclaimed state land and properties illegally occupied by the locals.
He also said police would support them to move around together and prosecute illegal tenants and reclaimed the state properties.
Lakari urged people living near Wabag town not to illegally move closer into Wabag town by occupying the state land.
He said the state land reserved in the town was for other developments to take place in the town in the near future.
The police chief said it was a criminal offence to claim someone else’s property under the false pretence.