The National, Thursday, June 9th 2011
MOROBE Governor Luther Wenge says he will side with Kau Banis settlers at Bundi Camp, Lae, fighting eviction by the developer and new owner, the Papindo Group of Companies.
He said the equitable law gave recognition to settlers who had settled for a long period of time, developed the land and built their lives while the owner failed to remove them in the first place.
“The Kau Banis settlers lived on that land for 30 years and accrued equitable rights, this is a case of the Livestock Development Corporation sleeping on its rights all this time,” Wenge said.
A notable example of settlers winning under the equitable law is the Biwat compound, in Lae, near the Bumbu River outlet, dominated by Sepiks who successfully defended their eviction in the mid-1990s through the National Court, which granted them the right to remain.
The land in question covers some sections of mountainous areas along the miles area.
Wenge said one reason for his stance against an iconic Morobe and PNG firm was the “suspicious manner” of the land transaction by the company.
He blasted livestock corporation for failing to ask for financial help before the sale of the land.
The sale leaves more than 5,000 settlers and put in doubt the operations of some companies because of the number of employees living there.