A WHISKY talk perhaps but it is often said that the upper Highlands produce the natural resources and inject considerable wealth into the country’s economy but Chimbu produces the brains and leads the rest of the country in human capital export.
And it checks out, because among every medical doctor, scientist, athlete or engineer in some corners of the world raising the PNG flag, there is at least a son or a daughter of Chimbu in the cut.
From the steppes of Kerowagi to the snowy caps of Segiwagi and across Mt Wilhem, the hallowed voices of the knights still ring; Kondom Agaundo conservatively urges his sons and daughters to rise up to the occasion and go far and beyond while the radical Iambakey Okuk is challenging: “if I can slightly bend the rules for your good, why must you be complacent and dumbfounded?”
The Dash-7s (now Dash-8s) he bought to service shorter airports are no more landing in Kundiawa.
Why? Merely because of the deplorable state of the airport owing to the poor upkeep by the concerned authorities and that is enough to turn the great Okuk in his grave.
This was not the kind of resolve and aptitude Okuk expected of his people after he was long gone.
Okuk’s pluck and tenacity won him a begrudging respect from even those he opposed.
There was no ‘Yes Sir’ in Okuk’s political vocabulary; he was prepared to clash with the establishment at that time to pursue what he believed.
Chimbu provided the finest in leadership and was the face and voice of the Highlands people in the country’s formative years.
Chimbu people were with the colonisers extending civilisation further into the backwaters and hinterlands of PNG as teachers, health workers, policemen, correctional service officers, missionaries, didiman and others.
At one time, all Highlanders were referred to as people from Chimbu.
Sadly, the introduction of money in politics has turned the tables and leadership tends to favour those who are vested with greater wealth.
Since then the Chimbu leaders have become subjects of political convenience and go-betweens of major power players.
The recent turn of events involving the political developments and the Government’s appointments should be the turning point for Chimbu.
Splitting the Petroleum and Energy Ministry already held by Chimbu’s potential prime minister Kerenga Kua among two Chimbu leaders and stripping the Labour Ministry off from the Karamui Salt Nomane MP only to give to another Chimbu is political convenience at its best.
A snub delivered as in child’s play in jovial jubilation and fanfare.
Chimbu has been taken for the ride for too long.
It’s about time Chimbu made a U-turn and moved out of this unfortunate situation.
Now, destiny beckons Chimbu people to find their rightful place.
You already have Okuk’s party, all you need is his resolve and aptitude to restore your honour and dignity.