The National –Thursday, January 6, 2011
By ZACHERY PER
ENTRANCE gates to the Goroka Base General Hospital will be forced to shut down with demands for resignations of hospital’s top managers and board members if they failed to address a petition of alleged bribery in awarding contracts.
This option would be the last resort after every avenues are exhausted to find answers to the petition of frustrated Kama tribesmen, one of the biggest tribes in Goroka.
Kama tribesmen yesterday gave Goroka Base Hospital management board until Monday next week to respond to a petition of alleged bribery involved in awarding of contracts to two contractors which were not highly recommended by the board to the Central Supplies and Tenders Board (CSTB).
They presented a three page petition to board Chairman Ben Haili stating that Redcoco Builders, a locally owned firm which had been recommended for the contract at the hospital by the hospital board’s technical evaluation committee had been destabilised by alleged bribery and conspiracy.
The contract for refurbishment of two nursing quarters was awarded to Nawani and PNG Constructions and not Redcoco Builders.
Redcoco Builders has earlier completed renovation of the nursery building and is currently working on the emergency ward which was destined for 20 beds but the firm created extra 16 beds and increased to 36 beds.
In a separate complaint the landowners made for police investigations into the bribery allegations, it was stated that hospital project manager, Gerald Vagi approached managing director of Redcoco Builders Elijah Haro in Goroka last November for money to bribe people in Port Moresby to award the contract.
Haro refused his request, saying his firm does not pay bribe monies and procure contracts in such manner and rejects Vagi’s request.
“Based on allegations of conspiracy to defraud and solicitation of bribery, we Kama tribesmen as principal landowners of the land where the hospital is located demand that an investigation be carried out.
“Such practices has deprived us of spin off benefit opportunities, our petition is based on non-consideration of the technical committee’s recommendation, allegation of bribery by the project officers,” Kama tribesmen spokesman Peter Hoyato said.
He said the hospital and landowners must co-exist to be transparent and accountable.
Hoyato said contracts awarded be put on hold and investigations be conducted into Vagi as he was alleged to have taken bribe monies from Nawani and PNG contractors.