By Rebecca Kuku
THREE candidates who contested the Southern Highlands regional seat say they have nothing to do with the killing of two police officers from Hela last Saturday.
They were reacting to Police Commissioner Gari Baki who blamed the deaths of the two officers travelling by road on the candidates who lost the elections. Baki threatened to have them arrested if they failed to own up.
Two police officers were shot to death while one is under intensive care at the Mt Hagen General Hospital after they were attacked along the Wara Anga Bridge in Mendi.
Candidates Alfred Walne, Joseph Kobol and Bernard Peter said the killings had nothing to do with the declaration of the Southern Highlands seat which William Powi again won.
Walne said there were hundreds of people travelling on the same road on Saturday. The counting for the Southern Highlands seat was done in Mt Hagen, Western Highlands.
“After we learnt that Powi was declared, everyone, and that includes electoral officers, the 24 candidates, their supporters and security personnel travelled back to Mendi,” he said. So the police must conduct proper investigations before pointing fingers.”
Kobol said the shooting to death of the two officers had nothing to do with the candidates.
“Candidates will not instigate such things and we condemn the killings that took place,” he said.
“We send our condolence to the families and friends of the officers and are calling on our people to come forward with any information they may have that will help the police to capture the perpetrators.”
By Rebecca Kuku