Lae city boss spoils gig for civil engineer

National, Normal


A CONTRACTOR’S delight to celebrate the dismissal of court proceedings against the Lae city council civil engineer turned sour yesterday morning.
The contractor, who turned up with two truckloads of traditional dancers at city hall was not allowed to enter city hall premises and was told by the acting city manager Jacob Sawanga, to “continue” the celebrations at the engineer’s house.
The council’s officers had turned up to see their office emblazoned with a banner welcoming back suspended director of engineering and technical services, Alex Gawi.
Mr Gawi, 55, of Korogo village in East Sepik province, was charged with misappropriating K900,000 of more than K2.7 million of Lae roads funds that were paid into a company.
His case was dismissed by the Lae Committal Court last Friday for want of evidence.
An officer from the council said that the court proceeding was different from the public service case.
Mr Gawi was suspended by the provincial administrator because he had breached the Public Service Management Act by conducting business.
“So the matter of the court dismissing his charges does not mean that his suspension is lifted,” the officer said.
Only the provincial administrator can re-instate him, Mr Sawanga said.
He said Mr Gawi’s services would be needed to carry on the work on the Lae roads.