A major announcement will be made this week on special agricultural and business lease (SABL), says Lands and Physical Planning Minister, Justin Tkatchenko.
These leases have been the subject of much debate both within and abroad in addressing the issues of illegally acquired land leases under the guise of the lease arrangement.
Mr Tkatchenko said since his appointment to the ministry, he has ensured that a high-level committee dealt with all the leases.
“As you know, we have set up the committee to go through every SABL file and the decision from the commission of inquiry.”
“With that, I will be making some very strong and firm and positive decisions on the leases that have already been investigated by the committee,” he said.
“There are some serious matters from these SABLs that have come up and the country will be very happy because we have had enough.”
He said there has been stealing of public, customary, and other land, where no consultations had ever been done, but his ministry would get to the bottom of the issues before the New Year.
“To all the customary landowners, the ILGs, bear with me. We are going to make sure that before the end of this year that most of these issues are resolved.”
Tkatchenko assured the landowners that the committee in place is a serious one that sits every week to deliberate.
“The committee is not just a giaman (fake) committee set up just to make us look good. They have to work and get outcomes that pleases the situation at hand.”
Prime Minister Peter O’Neill announced in November last year Cabinet’s decision to revoke all SABL titles.
Despite the decision, concerns were raised on the slow response of the department responsible in carrying out the revocation process.