By REBECCA KUKU
Police Commissioner Gari Baki says K1 million has been released to the joint security task force account for callout operations in Mendi, Southern Highlands, to restore order.
Baki said this after Southern Highlands Governor William Powi claimed the State failed to provide for a callout in Mendi.
Powi said to date there was still no additional police manpower in Mendi and K3 million for security operations had not been released yet.
Baki said that he was working on getting the police hierarchy fixed in Southern Highlands before he could send in more officers.
“I have to get commanders in place so that they can assess the situation and recommend to me how many men to send in,” he said.
“When I send in police manpower there has to be a commander on the ground to guide them.
“That is why I am still working on getting the Southern Highlands police hierarchy in place before I can send in manpower.”
Baki called on Powi to work with him in restoring law and order in Mendi.
“Powi must work on getting the provincial and political leaders united so that they can come together as one to solve the issue,” he said.
“Mendi needs leadership on the ground to bring stability to the town.
“Leaders must work with police to ensure safety and bring order back into the town.”
Powi said that he had consulted community leaders from Mendi and surrounding communities on the matter.
“We completed the consultation with the view to conducting our assembly meeting in two weeks’ time,” he said.
“I have already spoken with MPs from Southern Highlands to hold our first provincial assembly.”
By REBECCA KUKU