On Thursday night Bafiguoc Don, Angau Hospital’s Senior Physiotherapist was evicted from her home by people sponsored by the National Housing Corporation (NHC).
Her young child was ill with malaria. Her father lamented about how they as Morobeans were evicted in their own province.
Bafiguo had a valid tenancy agreement. She had in no way breached the terms of the agreement. She had also expressed interest in buying the property.
On Wednesday, afternoon just after 6pm, she came to the EMTV office in Lae asking if I could cover the story of her family’s eviction. Coincidentally, I had just returned hours earlier from 4 Mile where 15 other families had been evicted from their blocks of land – some by alleged NHC officers.
The Lae MP was kind enough to go to 4 Mile and speak to the tenants. He called for a 9am meeting the next day in the Police conference room.
Bafiguo was advised to attend the meeting. She did so the next day and aired her concerns.
The next day, Thursday, she and her family were evicted!
On Friday, the National Housing Corporation struck again.
Another health worker, Zuabe Tinning, was evicted. Same story. Zuabe’s father had passed on in 2011. By 2012, Zuabe began receiving eviction notices with alleged outstanding arrears.
Zuabe said the figures were different every time an eviction order was given. Sometimes it would be high and sometimes low.
She went to the NHC office and asked for their records. The couldn’t produce any. But they demanded that she pay cash over the counter.
He has a title over the land. NOT the house title. And that’s where the trouble is. A land title comes from the Lands Department. NHC, supposedly, owns the house.
She also expressed interest to buy the house. No response from NHC.
The house she got evicted from is the only one she has every known. She grew up there. Tonight, her family sleeps outside the fence that she erected for the property.
She said in an interview today: “This is my home. I don’t have anywhere else to go.”