Killed over K100

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Police appeal for calm, want case investigation left to them

ON Wednesday afternoon, a man was slashed to death in Moresby North East’s 9-Mile settlement. It sparked tensions between youths in the settlement and the Hela people. The killer’s house was razed.
However, police moved in swiftly in numbers to stop the violence from escalating. Gordon police station commander Insp Mark Mosinakave issued an immediate appeal to settlers to remain calm and civil, let the police investigate the murder and hunt down the killer.
Yesterday, escorted by policemen and the settlement’s youths, The National’s crime reporter SYLVESTER WEMURU and photographer JOEL HAMARI checked out the crime scene amid tensions remaining high.

Relatives showing the spot where Solomon Tolvita was slashed to death.
Frustrated and angry relatives of Solomon Tolvita at Kerema Block rummaging the debris of the house of the killer that was razed. – Nationalpics by JOEL HAMARI

A 40-YEAR-OLD man with two wives and seven children was slashed to death with a bush knife over a K100 dispute in Moresby North East on Wednesday.
Angry youths and relatives of Solomon Tolvita retaliated by burning down the killer’s house in the 9-Mile settlement at 4pm.
The murder sparked tensions between Tolvita’s relatives and friends with highlanders from Hela (the killer is from Hela and Tolvita is from Gulf).
However, dozens of policemen led by Gordon police station commander Insp Mark Mosinakave rushed to the scene and managed to speak to the settlers and calmed them.
He appealed to Tolvita’s family, relatives and settlers to remain calm and civil, and to leave it to the police to investigate the murder.
“We are hunting for him now.
“Please cooperate with us,” he told the settlers.
Tolvita’s elder sister, Margret, told The National that her brother borrowed K100 from the Tari man last year but could not repay him because “my brother was unemployed”.
“He also apologised to the man.
“He promised to repay the Highlands man when he returned from work in Wewak where he was recently offered employment as a truck driver by a construction company.
“But the man refused to listen and demanded that he returned his K100 with interest,” she added.
She said Tolvita, from Malalauwa’s Kukupi Village, was walking home when the man followed him, slashed him twice on the head from behind with a bush knife.

Frustrated and angry relatives of Solomon Tolvita at Kerema Block rummaging the debris of the house of the killer that was razed. – Nationalpics by JOEL HAMARI

Tolvita collapsed and the man continued slashing him on the face.
The assailant and his wife have fled the settlement.
“This is the first murder in this block since we moved in.
“Last year, our national leaders helped the families of the victims of the three men killed at 8-Mile and also in Erima.
“Now, no one seems to care,” Margret lamented.
She and settlers have demanded that the man and his wife surrender to the police.

Policemen making their presence felt to ensure security in the Kerema Block at 9-Mile Moresby North East.

A witness who did not wish to be named said: “On several occasions I told the people living in the Kerema block that he (the Highlander) will kill anytime.
“It has come true.”
A leader at the block said the same group of people kidnapped two men from Kerema in 2011 at their work place and killed them.
“The case is still under (police) investigation and the suspects are still on the run.
“The Government must look at the issues and address it immediately,” he added.
Insp Mosinakave told The National that the murder suspect was still on the run and “we are searching for him”.
“Policemen have been deployed to the settlement to ensure law and order prevail and reduce tension between the two groups of people,” he added.
Late last year, a similar clash between people living in a settlement at 8-Mile resulted in the death of a university student.
Houses were destroyed during the clash.



  • As a Hela man, am so embarrassed to hear about another death in the hands of Tari’s in what is a capital city of a nation of many tribes and languages. The killer should be hanged to pay for his crime. He should use other means to recoup his K100 rather than taking a life cheaply like that.

  • Inhuman behavior by typical Tari people is getting worse every year. This particular person must be apprehended and dealt with accordingly.

  • Helas at it again. What’s wrong with these people?

    Reporters and others must be specific and not generalize all as highlanders because other highlanders have some sense of reasoning while Helas will only respond with a bush-knife or gun if you do not provide them with what they want. Its now or never…..shortcut!

  • The death from 2011 is still under investigation and now is another one. How can this problem be solved??
    I feel sorry for my papuans.. Our leaders (MPs) should start think of doing something.

  • I think more better government should send unemployment Tari people to home province cos they creating many problems.

  • Remove settlements at all cost. What is happening now is a sign of much bigger problems ahead. Life in the village is less stressful than life in the city. Authorities need to take appropriate action now.

  • Any person who is harboring this culprit should also be jailed as well. May be he is hiding at Sogeri or other parts of the central province where Taris live. Police should hunt him down immediately.

  • So many uncivilized and unemployed being sheltered in the settlements, making uneasy for employed citizens to walk to and fro after hours, urban migration is very rapid bringing along their immature mindsets causing all these lunatic acts, the Government of the Day and the NCD/Central Provincial Governments should seriously look into this.. Rausim olgeta settlement na Mosbi bai fri.

  • Albert, you are providing one good solution. The Leaders should now send ALL unemployed people hanging on with wantoks especially from Tari to be sent home. Carryout thorough survey, list everyone and they all should be sent home. Further, coming into Port Moresby from any corner of the country by the Tari people should be properly interrogated or questioned by all airline service providers to ensure they are here on guine and identified reasons.

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