Major crackdown in Lae land grabbing

State agencies in Lae are planning a major operation to clamp down on land grabbing in Lae City, with police taking the lead.

Police see land grabbing as a breeding ground for lawlessness.

Lae police boss, Chief Superintendent Anthony Wagambie Jr, said they will work in unison with other public stakeholders to crack down on illegal settlements.

“We will join forces with Lands and other stakeholders and demolish those squatter settlements. These are some of the sources of uprising law and order issues in the city,” he said.

Wagambie Jr said these agencies are ready to work but due to issues like harassment, they do not perform.

The Met Supt added that his command stands ready to support them to address the law and order issues.

Meantime, local MPs John Rosso (Lae) and Thomas Pelika (Menyamya), along with Morobe Provincial Government representatives and Lae Urban Local Level Government officials, were present during the meeting on Thursday (April 3).

Wagambie Jr said they will not touch on the existing settlement and land issues within state land but those that are sprouting like mushrooms outside the city periphery.

Pelika, who is also the Provincial Lands Board Chairman, said they are very supportive of the initiative police has undertaken and are willing to assist.

He said as the Chairman of Lands of the province, he has noted many discrepancies and would get down to the bottom of it.

Rosso said they will work together to provide municipal services at those established settlements like water, power and better roads but need to get rid of the ones that are just popping out of nowhere.

Meanwhile, Wagambie Jr, who initiated the idea, said they want Lae City to be one of the best cities in the country so that residents can enjoy working and living there.

A working committee comprising all these stakeholders will be established to start the demolition exercise as early as next week.

(The meeting on Thursday)

Press release