Ban alcohol in Enga: Polye

National, Normal

KANDEP MP Don Polye has issued a challenge to Enga Governor Peter Ipatas to ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the province.
Joining the debate on the threat by Mr Ipatas to remove senior police officers in the province, the cause of lawlessness in the province was not “police slackness” but the widespread consumption and abuse of alcohol.
“I challenge Mr Ipatas to show leadership in this issue.
“If he really cares for the people of Enga, he must step up and ban the sale and consumption of alcohol in the province because that is where the problems lie.
“Most of the trouble we hear about in the province are alcohol related. The fights, the deaths and the wanton killings, they are all alcohol related.
“It (alcohol sale) is so widespread that just about every village has a beer tavern.
“Who is selling the alcohol and who is the biggest distributor? Are politicians involved?
“What the provincial police commander Supt Michael Chare is saying is true.
“Removing the top policemen from the province won’t solve the problem.
“As the leader of the province, the governor must accept the blame,” Mr Polye said.
He said giving beer licenses to political supporters was part of the problem, adding that he had not seen “police slackness” as a factor in the law and order issues.
He said the threat to remove the senior police officers from the province was a clear demonstration of the lack of clear policy and initiative by the governor.
Mr Polye said apart from K14 million for each open member for the province, the National Government has allocated millions more for the province, and the provincial government and each MP should be working together.
“But you hardly see anything in the province because of alcohol and violence.
“We should own up to our problems and ban alcohol, create economic activities through the use of funds we have, get social activities going and not just one rugby league competition, and provide strong leadership at all levels,” he said.
The debate about alcohol and lawlessness in the province started when Mr Ipatas and Lagaip-Porgera MP Philip Kikala blamed police slackness for the rise in the province’s law and order problems and vowed to get rid of the top cops.
Sensing a slight at his leadership, Supt Chare hit back saying the problem in the province was widespread alcohol sale and consumption, and not police slackness.
He said for a small province, there were more than 100 liquor outlets and he blamed politicians for this.