Family falls victim to tussle for Lufa administrator’s post

National, Normal

The National,Friday20January 2012

A STRUGGLE over the position of Lufa district administrator, in Eastern Highlands, has forced the family of a senior district public servant to be dumped in Goroka town.
The family of Lufa district accountant Maivo Ikari was threatened and forced to move out of their house at Lufa station yesterday morning by another Lufa man vying to take over the position from incumbent, Peter Gare.
It was alleged that aspiring district administrator Wesley Loko and his tribesmen forced Ikari’s family to move out of their home.
A frustrated Ikari said he was away on official duties in Goroka when associates of Loko allegedly chopped down flower gardens outside their house and threatened to attack his family.
He said fearing for their lives, his family packed up and left.
The official Lufa district administrator’s vehicle came to their rescue.
Loko said as they were heading into Goroka, they were confronted by Henganofi police who physically dragged him into the police vehicle.
Ikari said one of the policemen drove the district administrator’s vehicle while the driver and himself were dragged out and forced into the police vehicle.
“My family and our belongings remained in the district administrator’s vehicle as we were driven into Goroka town.
“My family and I were dumped at the back of the provincial administration building. We do not know where to go next,” Ikari said.
He called on Eastern Highlands police commander Supt Augustine Wampe to find out who gave the orders for Henganofi police to step into the territory of Lufa police.
“I, as a Government officer, have every right to travel on government vehicles.
But why should I have to be removed and placed in a police vehicle? I am not a criminal,” Ikari said.
Incumbent district administrator Peter Gare said the issue to determine the legitimate administrator was before the court.
Gare said his contract had not expired and to appoint a grade nine officer (Loko) to a grade 18 position was laughable.
Eastern Highlands administrator Munare Uyassi allegedly appointed Loko to the position and has on numerous occasions wanted to facilitate a handover ceremony.
However, this has not been done but Loko is making every attempt to get into the position, which is a breach of Public Services Management Act.
Panso Buri a concerned Lufa man, condemned the actions of Henganofi police calling for a proper
investigation into their conduct.