EHP service providers lock office

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday July 10th, 2013

 FRUSTRATED 2012 general election service providers in Eastern Highlands yesterday changed the locks to the Electoral Commission office in Goroka in protest over the non-payment of their claims.

Led by former journalist and businessman John Ewande, the service providers confronted acting provincial elections manageress Janet Ruben in her Henganofi Development Corporation Building office demanding an explanation.

Ruben told them the deputy electoral commissioner operations would fly to Goroka with their cheques and they did not have to worry.

But Ewande insisted they would only be satisfied after hearing from the deputy commissioner at the commission’s head office.

Ruben then called her superior and put her mobile on speaker. The commission officer was then heard saying they had yet to confirm the list of services providers from Eastern Highlands.

The response angered Ewande and his group who then insisted they would lock the office once again.

They demanded former elections manager Alywnn Jimmy, who initially made agreements with the provide services, to verify the claims before they reopened the office.

Ruben and her staff were busy sorting ballot papers for the LLGs when the service providers intervened.

Polling for LLG elections in the province starts early next week.

One of the candidates for Goroka town mayor’s seat and service provider Charles Akunai called on the Electoral Commission to speed up the payment.