The National- Wednesday, January 12, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
SIMBU government has an outstanding debt of more than K170,000 with security providers of Simbu Yomba Mountain Coffee factory in Barawaghi in the Kerowagi district.
Disgruntled spokesmen and Barawaghi community leaders Goiye Kiangua and Daniel Kolkia expressed great disappointment over the weekend, saying a promise by Governor Fr John Garia to settle the outstanding K173,000 in security services was pending.
“Our local boys were engaged by the National Development Bank (NDB) to provide security from 2002 to 2009 when the factory was in the custody of the bank.
“NDB failed to pay the security bill and when the factory was purchased by the provincial government for K1 million, Garia made a personal commitment to pay off the outstanding bill during a launch of the factory last June 15,” Kolkia said.
He, however, said the payment was still outstanding as the factory was now being operated by Simbu Yomba Mountain Coffee as a business arm of the provincial government.
Kiangua said they have had enough of knocking at doors at the governor’s office in Kundiawa seeking payment and came to the media to reveal their plight.
He claimed the provincial government was trying to generate revenue through the factory, Garia had to fulfill his promise and pay up the security bills.
Former custodian of the Barawaghi Coffee Factory Palma Embia, whose many private properties were being used by the operators of the factory, also supported the call.
He said monthly rental bills for personal properties rented over the past six months were still outstanding, although claim notices were submitted as per verbal agreement.
Embia said numerous calls and visits to the provincial government head office in Kundiawa had fallen on deaf ears.
Some of Embia’s personal properties rented were power house, office, coffee drying space and land space, three-tonne scale and thread sewer.
Provincial legal officer Tobby Bongere wrote to Embia last June 15 saying they would sort the outstanding issues but nothing has been done.
An official at the governor’s Kundiawa office said these outstanding payments would be sorted out this year.
Garia could not be contacted as he was in Port Moresby for the parliament sitting.