Eastern Highlanders reject compensation

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday October 15th, 2013

 PEOPLE in Henganofi district, Eastern Highlands, have rejected compensation offered by a Western Highlands tribe over the death of seven people in an accident early this year.

A payment of K124,000, 126 pigs and seven cows was offered by the Panimbe Wika tribe of Kuta in Western Highlands but the aggrieved said they stood by their earlier demand of K1 million and 100 pigs. 

The tribe offered the compensation last Friday at Pope’s Oval in Mt Hagen to the relatives of the seven Eastern Highlanders who were killed in the car accident in February at Markham Valley, Morobe.

The relatives of the deceased rejected the compensation in front of peace mediators, police and community leaders and said that they stood by their earlier demand.

Owner of the vehicle involved in the accident, Nelson Nema, said he had a huge burden over his head.

He said the accident was unintentional and the people should understand that.

He has urged the relatives not to take advantage of the situation by blocking the Highlands Highway and holding traffic.

Nema, who claimed to be speaking on behalf of trucking firms and bus owners of Upper Highlanders, said the Highlands Highway was very important.

‘’I have taken ownership of the problem and paying the compensation because I want to keep the Highlands Highway free from any threats,’’ he said. 

A candidate for last year’s general election and a prominent businessman, James Yoka Ekip thanked the relatives of the deceased for allowing the law to take its course.

‘’You did not take the law into your hands and have allowed peace to prevail, it is the way forward,” he said.