Motu- Koitabu Locals Raise Concerns On Illegal Land Grabbing

By Eric Haurupma – EM TV News, Port Moresby

The Motu-Koitabuan people have voiced their concerns regarding the illegal land grabbing issue in Port Moresby.

They have questioned the manner in which their customary lands have been taken away from them, without following due processes.

“With the increasing developments underway in Port Moresby, many of these lands have been acquired illegally and sold to foreigners, by certain individuals who claimed to be legitimate land owners,” they said.

They said until recently they have realised certain individuals obtaining titles from the Lands Department to claim ownership over these lands.

Papua New Guinean land tenure system comprised of 60 percent state lands and the remaining 40 precent is customary owned.

Motu-Kaitabuans said during the colonial era there were no demarcations of land areas in Port Moresby extending to the fringes of Central Province.

It was all customarily owned until Independence when the PNG Government introduced the Land Act reviewed in 1996 that vested the land rights to incorporated land owner groups.

Meanwhile, they are now calling on those who have been engaging into illegal land grabbing to cease from taking away their customary lands.

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