By Adelaide Kari – EMTV News, Port Moresby
The eviction, taken out by L&Z Enterprise after it had apparently purchased the 16 portions under an Urban Development Lease that had been initially leased out by the state to Jonathan Kumba in 2012.
The Eviction order comes after the National Court had dismissed the case between Redhill’s association and Jonathan Kumba, as Kumba wanted to evict the settlers.
In December last year L&Z got an eviction notice from the Waigani District court, Redhill’s Association claimed they weren’t summoned to court for the hearing. EMTV News has enquired with the Lands Department on whether a first party can sell a UDL to a second party. The Lands department, Acting Deputy Secretary for Lands services, Benjamin Samson, said UDL’s cannot be sold as it is against the law.
The Minister for Lands, Justin Tkatchenko, stated that the real issue was with the Lands Department officers in the past who facilitated such dealings, something he as the Minister for Lands has been working to improve.
Last Wednesday (February 27) a stay order was given by the Waigani District Court to stop any further eviction, unfortunately on Thursday the eviction continued clearing out what was left of the fallen homes.
Surrounding communities and business have brought in relief supply, including the Governor for NCD Powes Parkop, on Sunday local businessman, Joseph Tonde, brought in mosquito nets and other supplies to assist families who are sleeping in the open.
Even with the assistance and the Lands Department stating that the eviction may be illegal, it all comes at a cost of hundreds of families, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters from infants to school age children, who have been left squatting in whatever that remained.
EMTV News has reached out to L&Z Enterprise for comments but they have not responded.