MP calls for probe into K3m barge

National, Normal

The National, Wednesday 19th of February, 2014

SOUTH Fly MP Aide Ganasi has clarified that no one informed him of a plan to buy a landing barge from China immediately after the 2012 election.
He raised the issue in Parliament, calling on Prime Minister Peter O’Neill to order an investigation into the use of public funds to buy the barge.
Ganasi told Parliament that K8.2 million from the Non-Community Mine Continuation Agreement account was used to buy the barge.
Later it was discovered that the barge was bought for US$900,000 (K3 million) and it was a second-hand vessel.
He is demanding answers as to who and how the boat was purchased without his or the joint district budge priority and planning committee’s knowledge.
“I was declared (as MP) on July 24, 2012 and the contract for the purchase of this vessel was signed in August when I was already a MP,” he said.
“Nobody had the courtesy to tell me that we are signing a contract for the purchase of a landing barge.
“This boat arrived in the country in December 2012 when I was still the MP. It was launched elsewhere and not in South Fly or Port Moresby.
“The people invited to the launching were not even from South Fly.”
The court declared on Feb 27, 2013, that a by-election be held for the seat. He was reinstated on Sept 26.
He said no one informed the district administrator or his staff about the barge during his absence.
“Then somebody comes to me with a contract telling me about the barge just a couple of days before my first Parliament session,” he said.
He said after he first raised the question, the boat suddenly appeared at the Port Moresby harbour. He was asked to go and inspect the boat but refused.
“According to information I have received, this boat was launched in Kavieng and it was hired out and chartered to Air Niugini. For what purpose, I don’t know,” Ganisi said.
“I got an electronic copy of the boat being launched so anybody who’s going to tell lies to me I got all the information with me that’s why I want investigation into this matter.”