Guesthouse owner killed as church event turns ugly


What was supposed to have been a joyful day of celebrations for the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran reformation turned ugly at Morobe Patrol Post.
A Morobe Patrol Post guesthouse owner was killed during celebrations at Mou village, Huon Gulf.
He was identified as Popoka Popoka who ran Minibera Guesthouse at Mou.
Popoka was hit at the back of the head by an unidentified person while trying to stop a quarrel during celebrations in the village on Oct 31.
He was a passionate aqua-culture farmer for more than 20 years before venturing into his guesthouse project at Mopi Bay near Morobe Patrol Post.
Huon Gulf administrator Aaron Ambang confirmed the death.
He said the situation could have escalated if council manager Rongao Bana, police and the administration had not intervened.
“We arranged for police to stabilise the situation while a dinghy brought the corpse to Lae for autopsy,” Ambang said.
Ambang said police arrested 18 suspects but could not comment further.
Provincial police commander Augustine Wampe could not be reached for comment.
Morobe rural commander David Warap said homicide reports had not yet been submitted to him.
Meanwhile, Warap said in Sialum, Tewae-Siassi, several suspects were arrested over the killing of three men in a fight between Karako, Zangkua and Zakupet villagers a fortnight ago.
“Among the suspects were two escapees,” Warap said.