By Lucy Kopana – EMTV News, Lae
The National Housing Corporation’s (NHC) Momase Regional Manager Andrew Augwi said the eviction of two families last week Tuesday, was not authorized by the NHC management in Lae.
“According to my acting manager, the approval was given to officers to go there as observers on Monday with the police and the purchaser lawyer…As for Tuesday, there was no approval granted to our officers. Some of our officers went there on their own accord. We don’t condone their actions”.
Mr. Augwi said the officers involved in the eviction will be dealt with accordingly.
Last week Tuesday, two long-serving public servants, Levi Kurakipa and Amos Tarali, were evicted with their families from their home of more than twenty years.
Later that afternoon they obtained a restraining order from the national court, allowing them to move back into the property.
The families were being evicted because they were told the property had been sold. Mr. Augwi confirmed that the property was sold in 2014 by the previous management, to a company.
According to Mr. Augwi, as per the normal processes, the tenants should have been given the opportunity to express their interest in purchasing the house, as long time sitting tenants and public servants.
“Obviously for fairness, the first right of refusal should be given to the sitting tenants. Whether that was done with regard to this property or not, I would not be in a position to elaborate on that”.
The lawyer representing the purchaser spoke off-camera and did not wish to be quoted in this report.