Ipatas queries use of K5m for jail

National, Normal


ENGA Governor Peter Ipatas has questioned what has become of the K5 million the Enga provincial administration gave to the Correctional Services for the construction of prison cells in Mukurumanda jail in the province.
Mr Ipatas said Correctional Service Minister Tony Aimo and his Commissioner Richard Sikani should “wake up” and do something about the jail.
The Enga provincial government gave K5 million last February to the Correctional Service Department to build the prison cells.
Mr Ipatas said his government did their part by allocating the money and it was now up to Mr Aimo and Mr Sikani to come out and explain why they were not putting up the cells after receiving the funds.
He said this in response to a call by circuit judge Justice Graham Ellis for the national and provincial governments to build a prison cell for the new Mukurumnda jail before the National Court sitting in Wabag in May.
Enga prisoners are now being kept at Baisu in Western Highlands province, causing overcrowding and other problems.
Mr Ipatas said the provincial government recognised the importance of having jail in the province by providing the funds for the construction of the cells.
He said Mr Aimo and Mr Sikani needed to explain to the people of Enga what was stopping them from completing this project.
The new prison camp were built at Mukurumnda in 1999, but since then, there was no cells built to keep the prisoners.
Twenty-four officers now on the ground are doing nothing most of the time and collecting their salaries.
According to one of the officers, about 200 prisoners from Enga were locked up in Baisu jail.
Source said their job was to transport the remandees to and from Baisu for the National Court sittings in Porgera and Wabag.He said most of the time, they do nothing.