‘Missing’ K10mil may fuel protest

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Commerce and Industry Minister Wera Mori, pictured, says the Government will provide more benefits to Koiari landowners of Central.
He said this yesterday after Koiari Resource Landowners’ chairman Jonah Bogogai called an update of an investigation into K10 million of their clan-vetting and mobilisation fund that was allegedly paid to the wrong people. They claimed Mori was misled by his staff into making the payment.
“They have no right to hold Government to ransom,” Mori said.
“They need to negotiate workable solutions other than misusing money as they have done in the past.”
The landowners also demanded that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill provide them an update of the investigation into the missing K10 million.
“We have not received any positive response to the terms of our petition from Government for six months now, which is not only contemptuous but a deprivation of our rights as resource owners in economic participation and development,” Bogobai said.
He said they would disturb the Apec Leaders’ Summit next month with a peaceful protest march if their demands were not met.
The landowners have sent their petition, dated Oct 8, to O’Neill, Mori, Public Enterprise Minister William Duma, Central Governor Robert Agarobe, Chief Secretary Isaac Lupari, Eda Ranu managing director Raka Taviri and PNG Power Ltd acting managing director Carolyn Blacklock.
O’Neill had told Parliament that an independent investigation into the missing K10 million would be done and he would present the findings.
He said this after Kairuku-Hiri MP Peter Isoaimo had presented the petition to him in Parliament.
Mori claimed in February that K10 million was paid to the right members of the Koiari clans of Narime, Omani and Behori.

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