Settlers Taking Legal Action

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By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Madang

More than 200 people residing at the Morobe Governor’s official residence are still waiting to be resettled by the Provincial Government and other concerned authorities.

Deputy Chairman of the Sialum Community, Tusi Mupangke, says they had sought legal advice and had issued a court order to the Provincial Government and police. The court order is to prevent authorities from evicting them and also to resettle them following the right process, under an MOU signed in 2017.

It’s almost 4 years since more than 400 displaced settlers at Lae’s Boundary road were moved to the Morobe Governor’s official residence after a clash erupted between two factions in 2015. The fighting resulted in several houses burnt and at least 3 men killed with others seriously injured.

Today, at least 200 displaced men, women and children are still leaving there. Some had to build temporary shelters to live in.

Sialum Community spokesman, Tusi Mupangke, told EMTVthey had signed an MOU with the Morobe Provincial Government and other parties concerned in August 2017. The MOU is to see their successful resettlement back into their community, but he claims the first resettlement exercise was not done according to what they considered in the MOU; adding that only 9 families were resettled.

The displaced settlers have sought legal representation and a court order was issued to the Provincial Government and police not to evict them without helping them resettle.

The settlers plan to take the matter to court on human rights’ grounds as it has been 3 years 6 months they have been waiting in vain for resettlement.

Meanwhile, the Morobe Provincial Government has allocated K1 million in its 2019 budget towards the renovation and maintenance of state residences. This includes the Morobe Governor’s official residence. 

The displaced settlers who also knew about the budget allocation has also taken it into consideration and wants to work with the Provincial Government and the relevant authorities to help them resettle.E

Martha Louis

is a crime and court journalist based at EMTV’s Lae office. She has just joined the television industry after spending two and a half years as a radio journalist. She has a Bachelor in Communication Arts (Journalism) from the Divine Word University in Madang.

Martha Louis