Concern raised over South Fly ‘contract’

National, Normal

COMMUNITY leaders in the Western province have called on police and the Ombudsman Commission to investigate payments made to a local company to carry out timber operations in the province.
Barramundi Enterprises Ltd was recently paid K170,000 to start a small-scale timber project in the Morehead area.
Barramundi Enterprises Ltd is owned by a Graham Wyborn.
Mr Wyborn was convicted and jailed in 2004 for five years with hard labour for stealing public funds given to him to carry out maintenance at the Daru market.
The money belonged to the Daru town authority, and reportedly totalled K100,000.
The court later suspended the sentence on the condition that Wyborn repay the Daru town authority K65,000 within 12 months, and be on good behaviour bond for 12 months.
It is unclear if Wyborn met those conditions in order to be released from jail.
Documents show that the South Fly joint district budget priorities committee met in July this year and approved K170,000 for Wyborn’s company.
Finance reports show that four different cheques were raised for the company on Sept 17.
Three cheques were for K50,000 each, while another was for K20,000. The four cheques totalled K170,000.
Genai Oma, a community leader in South Fly, said public funds provided by the Government was for development programmes to benefit the whole community.
“These funds, like the district services improvement programme funds, should be spent on health, education or infrastructure development programmes to benefit the community.
“It is not fair if it is channelled to an individual’s company,” he said.
“If public funds are provided to people who do not have a track record of delivering projects, then questions need to be asked.”
Member for South Fly, Sali Subam, was not available for comments.