The National,Friday13January 2012
PEOPLE living along the Southern Highlands section of the Highlands Highway are calling on the national government and the Works Department to investigate how payments have been under the Highlands Highway rehabilitation programme.
The landowners said Works Minister Francis Awesa and Prime Minister Peter O’Neill must check on how the payment was made to them.
“Awesa said he has no knowledge about Mori Resource Consultant making payment while secretary Joel Luma has confirmed that it had been engaged to make payments,” village spokesman Joe Korowi said.
Korowi said such information was contradicting because they had been underpaid and had missed out on the payment and wanted an explanation from the government.
He said the people living inside the corridor 13-14 starting from rivers Kagul to Angula did not benefit from that payment.
According to Korowi, the people have been waiting for more than 10 years to receive their payments but this did not work as what they have expected, adding that the payment was not done properly.
He urged Awesa, Luma and O’Neill to help them engage an investigation team to properly check how the payment was made.
Korowi said they were frustrated when omitted and underpaid by the company responsible for making the payment.
He said that whatever belongs to the people must be delivered to them not put aside to meet personal interest.
Korowi said they had given the state 21 days to come out and explain what its plans were for the landowners who were underpaid and missed out.
He said that if the 21 days lapse without any word from the government then the upgrading, reconstruction and sealing of the
highway would not take place.