South Highlands under curfew due to counting


THE security forces have slapped a curfew in Mendi, Southern Highlands, due to counting continuing at nights.
The restriction from 6pm to 6am started yesterday and provincial police commander Chief Supt Sibron Papoto said there was a need to speed up counting to ease people’s anxiety.
He said people must stay away from the town area during the curfew hours as joint forces would monitor the area.
“Those who are caught in between this time frame will be arrested for loitering. They have no business in town and must go to their residential areas,” Papoto said. “We (security personnel) are fed up of disruptions caused in the town and people must adhere to the warning issued.”
He said the only exceptions were scrutineers, presiding officers and counting officials, with their returning officers and  assistant returning officers.
He said security was beefed up for the night counting and the police commissioner and director special service helped by bringing in additional men.
Papoto said he was irritated at the manner which supporters were bringing in offensive weapons such as bush knives.
“I have put a stop to candidates coming to the police station with their grievances and Nipa-Kutubu was the last police and provincial electoral officials sorted out.
“ Candidates must not allow their supporters to be armed with bush knives in the heart of the town.”
Papoto said there were public servants, business houses and students busy with their daily activities and supporters must not scare them away.
He said it was a very crucial time for the province.
Papoto was expecting them to declare their leaders by tomorrow’s deadline.

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