Through High court order
By CHRIS HAPERT HA’ARABE
A family has been ordered by the High Court of Solomon Islands to vacate a land they built their permanent home on, on Thursday 28th March 2019.
The court order said failure to so will result in further action by the police.
The plot land is situated at the Mbokonavera Four Heights in Central Honiara.
Speaking to the Solomon Star Ruth Waiririu who claimed to be the owner of the land and houses described the order as unfair and an injustice.
The mother said at the first place Honiara City Council (HCC) and the Government through its Ministry of Lands have granted the title for a plot land at Mbokonavera two, but due to some disputes coming from other neighbouring residents, they raised their concern to the HCC and the Ministry of Lands and they thought the best way to solve the problem is to relocate. That happened in 2005.
“When we moved here, the land title was not yet registered to any name, it belongs to the state and the state gave us legal documents we signed that showed we have the right over the land,” she said.
Mrs Waiririu explained, to register land in the Solomons or any democratic country, one must follow the right procedures of the Ministry of Lands to obtain it.
She added in February 3rd 2012, the Commissioner of Lands offered them ‘grant instrument’ that they signed for the land at Mbokonavera Four Heights. ‘Grant Instrument’ means one will going to have his/her land title.
“The Commissioner of lands told us in two weeks’ time you people will receive your land title, but during that year 2012, we secured scholarship to pursue studies abroad so we assigned two family members to wait if the Commissioner of Lands called then they will go and get the land title certificate.
“However, it was not the case, the grant instrument document that we signed had gone missing in the Ministry of Lands office so then they sent another document to be signed by us while we were in Fiji.
“After signing the new grant document we sent it over and still the Ministry of Lands told us that the ink that was used to sign the document is in a different colour so it will not be accepted,” Mrs Waiririu explained.
She revealed when all these had happened her husband flew back to the country from Fiji and found out that the same plot of land they already acquired was registered under someone’s named in May 17th 2012.
“The Ministry of Lands launched it in one day and then signed it in one day as well, the land title,” she claimed.
She said it had took them seven years to undergo the court battle to reclaim the land and now they have exhausted all their efforts and money to develop the land.
“So what actually happened is that we developed the land, built three permanent houses including connecting the electricity and water supply.
“Water supply and electricity can only reach your door step if the land is legally registered.
“I believed the decision made by the High Court of Solomon Islands is based on the corrupt practice by the officers within the Ministry of Lands,” the mother emotionally told the paper.
Meanwhile, Henry Star Dora who is now the legal owner of the land following the court decision has responded to the report which was aired on the National broadcaster and published over the weekend.