The National, Friday 30th December 2011
By JAMES APA GUMUNO
A GROUP of landowners is questioning how Mori Resources Ltd, whose contract has been terminated by the government, continues to make highway payments to clans.
The Chimbu Highlands Highway Landowners Association is urging the provincial administrator, works manager and provincial police commander to stop the payments made by the company.
Kinston Womai, a landowner from Ku in the Sinasina-Yongomugl electorate said from Kundiawa that Mori’s contract to pay landowners on the improvement along the road under the Highlands Highway rehabilitation programme had been terminated by Works and Transport Minister Francis Awesa.
Awesa’s letter dated Nov 23 to Works secretary Joel Luma said in part: “You are directed to immediately notify Mori Resource Ltd of the termination of his contract.”
The minister said in his letter that he had received complaints against Mori and that the company’s service was no longer required.
Awesa had also notified Chimbu provincial police commander John Kale on Dec 19 that Mori Resource Ltd would not continue the highway payment in Chimbu.
Awesa stated that Mori had created problems in Southern Highlands despite being terminated and was defying lawful directives.
Awesa reaffirmed the government’s position and instructed Kale that Wera Mori, his agent or representatives be prevented from initiating any activities in regards to the payments in the province.
In another letter dated Dec 8 and addressed to Luma, Awesa said Skyco System Ltd had been engaged to take over the HHRP payments in the highlands region.
Womai said despite Awesa’s letters, provincial authorities had allowed Mori to continue making the payments.
He said Awesa should sack his secretary Luma and that Police Commissioner Tom Kulunga should order Kale to stop the payments in accordance with the minister’s directive.