MAPRIK MP Gabriel Kapris has denied misleading the people about the Sepik Coffee properties in East Sepik province.
Mr Kapris, who is Commerce and Industry Minister, had appealed to his people that he had an “open door” for those with grievance to resolve the issue instead of going to the media.
He said those people with political interest should wait until 2012 elections instead of trying to distract him from achieving his political vision to bring much needed services to Maprik that had been neglected in the past 25 years.
He was responding to allegations by Maprik businessman John Simon that the minister had misled the people, claiming that Pacific Agro Industries was owned by the people and not individuals.
Mr Simon claimed that the name of the company was Pacific Agro Commodities Ltd and the directors were the handful of people appointed by the minister.
He said the best approach was to put money into Sepik Coffee to purchase properties back or the Government to buy back the assets of former Sepik Coffee and give it back to the people.
He was also critical of the minister calling him a “middleman” as a sad moment for national businessman like him.
Mr Simon said his company had been giving donations and assistance to sports, schools and churches in the country totalling around K50, 000 a year from his hard-earned money.
“I am not a middleman as branded by the minister. A middleman is somebody who is doing business to cheat and rip our people.”
The issue started when Mr Simon attacked the Government for lack of land in Wewak and Maprik to do business.
Mr Kapris responded by saying Mr Simon was one of the bidders for the asset of the Sepik Coffee in Maprik and had an axe to grind after the National Government intervened to block the sale and repossessed the asset for the people.
He said Sepik Coffee was under liquidation and, under the Companies Act, a new entity had to be registered to take over the property of Sepik Coffee.
He said Cooperatives Societies of Papua New Guinea, which were owned by the people, would be using the property to export directly to overseas markets cutting out middleman.
Mr Kapris said he had no time to play politics and was concentrating in delivering roads and bridges, power, hospital, education and other services for the people who gave him the mandate to rule.
He appealed to people like Mr Simon to forget about politics and support his efforts in delivering much needed services.