December 13, 2021 - 899 views

FM100pic by David Susuve: A police officer watches as a bulldozer levels down homes, and other buildings at Garden Hills settlement in Port Moresby.



Hundreds of squatters in Garden Hills settlement watched helplessly as excavators demolished their homes and properties today. 

The evacuation exercise follows a court order obtained by the AOG Church in 2018 to make way for developments, however settlers continued to stay on. 

Today police were present to ensure that the court-ordered eviction was carried out properly, to ensure surrounding communities were safe. 

The settlement has been known as a safe haven for petty criminals mainly along the Waigani Drive area. 

Representing the settlers, and advocator for affordable housing Mr. Steven Kilagi condemned the eviction, calling for an immediate response from NCD Governor Powes Parkop, member for North-West Lohia Boe Samuel and North-East member John Kaupa to address the displaced settlers. 

Mr. Steven Kilagi described the eviction as ‘disgusting’ and asked where these people were going to live. 

He also called on the Prime Minister James Marape to intervene in these kind of evictions. 

Meantime, Commander NCD Central Assistant Commissioner Anthony Wagambie Junior says, awareness on this eviction was undertaken by the land lord, over a 30-day period, before the excavator and bulldozer, escorted by armed police, moved in for the demolition today. 

ACP Wagambie says the eviction was initially delayed because, senior police officers at the helm of this eviction were embroiled in a tense argument with the disgruntled settlers. 

The Commander says whilst it’s disheartening to see people displaced from their place of abode, citizens must also respect the laws, when coming to dwell in the city. He reminds that the Constabulary is only enforcing a court order produced by the Landlord. 

Police will however maintain presence at Garden Hills until this demolition and eviction exercise is completed.


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