The National- Monday, January 17, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
DIGICEL has forked out K58,000 to pay disgruntled landowners of Mt Otto telecommunication towers site near Goroka town to restore normalcy last Thursday.
Disgruntled Sehayuha clan of Kotuni area in Goroka district who shut down telecommunication transmission facilities operated by Telikom, bemobile and Digicel last week accepted the payment.
They allowed technicians to switch on the communication signals at 1pm yesterday after a lengthy discussion at the site with representatives of the three communication companies, landowners, security guards and Goroka police.
Lanowners claimed that Digicel PNG had been operating on their customary land setting up a huge tower without settling their demands for land compensation.
After numerous attempts, they went and shut down the facility on Tuesday.
Chairman of Sehayuha clan Veho Mohokule received the K58,000 cheque from Digicel and thanked them for quick response to address their demand.
He said it was first time for them to see any company respond promptly to their demand.
Digicel’s security operation manager Paul Keyter presented the money to them.
Goroka security services manager and one of the leaders of Sehayuha clan John Siga also applauded the quick response saying communication was very important.
“We are happy to have this fruitful negotiation that resolved the landowners grievances that resulted in the restoration of normal communication,” he said.
Eastern Highlands provincial police commander Chief Supt Augustine Wampe deployed a unit of Goroka-based mobile squad 14 who provided security for properties and employees at the site.
The three communication towers operated by the three telecommunication companies at Mt Otto serve Highlands and Momase region and relays communication signals to other sites.