Stop this fake news

In response to Maua’s rubbish regarding Lefaga’s decision:

1. You argue that a lease by virtue of it being transferred into the trust of the government who acts on behalf of the customary landowners thus alienates the customary land permanently (ie: turns a leasehold title into a fee-simple title).

Firstly, this is absolute rubbish. The title remains a leasehold title, before, during, and after the trusteeship of the government. A leasehold title is temporary alienation (for the period of the lease). It is not a permanent alienation like you argue. It is absolutely untrue to argue that it has become a permanent alienation.

Secondly, do you even know what being a trustee is? If the government holds the trusteeship of the land on behalf of the customary landowners, the government by every legal definition in Common Law CAN NEVER be transferred permanent ownership of the land. Why? BECAUSE THERE ARE BENEFICIARIES THERE. How can a trustee become a permanent owner when they have beneficiaries (ie: the owners of the land) who they are legally acting for? A bank can never approve a mortgage on the basis of a trusteeship relationship because IT DOES NOT PROVE the trustee is the owner of the land. It proves that the owners are the beneficiaries - ie: the customary land owners.

Thirdly, Article 102(a) of the Constitution allows leases on customary land provided an Act of Parliament has been passed to allow such leases or licences on customary land. That Act was passed in 1965 and it is called the Alienation of Customary Land Act 1965. That is why there has been leases on customary lands before 2008.

Fourth, even if all of the above fails to get through your head, how can a lease ensure permanent alienation of the land when the lessee pays RENT to the OWNERS of the land EVERY SINGLE YEAR? By that very act, the lessee is acknowledging that that they are not the owners and that the owners are the ones who they are paying the rent to annually. Every Court in the World would recognise that very act of paying rent as one where the owner maintains an ongoing connection with the land as OWNER (ie: the Customary Landowners) and the leasees (the guys paying rent) maintains an ongoing lease of the land as not the owners.

Please stop this fake news perpetrated by SSIG. By attacking leases, you are attacking the ability for families and villages to attract investment and jobs to their lands. By attacking leases, you are attacking the economic growth of the country.


Petelo Suaniu

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