Watuts want land matter resolved

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 21st August, 2012

THE Watut people of Bulolo district in Morobe want the government to engage a Special Land Title Commission to look into the customary landownership of the historical town.
This, they said, would put an end to the long-standing customary landownership issues that have caused friction among the Watut, Biangai, Mumeng and Munenum people for more than a century.
Spokesperson for the Watut people Robert Pasu of Wiel village in the Upper Watut area, told The National yesterday that there were too many ethnic groups claiming ownership of the Bulolo town land.
Pasu said a Special Lands Title Commission should be set up to determine the genuine landowners of the town to end confusion and needling. The Watut spokesperson also claimed there was sufficient evidence to prove that the Watut people owned the town land and they were prepared to showcase the evidence.
“We (Watut) registered a land mediation court with the Bulolo District Court in November 2011 but the court sitting did not occur. We are still waiting.”
“We are feeling that our rights are being deprived,” Pasu said.
He said the town was ripped apart by law and order issues, ethnic clashes and violence because there were no customary landowners to take the lead to pacify people and find solutions to issues in the vicinity.
Pasu said the genuine landowners of Bulolo town should be indentified so they could benefit from leases and others spin offs from projects.