Namah challenges Pandemic Act

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By DALE LUMA
OPPOSITION Leader Belden Namah yesterday filed a Supreme Court application challenging the constitutionality of the National Pandemic Act (2020).
Namah, through lawyers Young and Williams, is asking the courts to strike out the law under section 41 of the Constitution and declare it unconstitutional.
According to the Opposition leader in a press conference yesterday, the law goes against principles of good governance, accountability and violates the rights of citizens guaranteed under the Constitution.
Namah highlighted sections 7 and 51 of the National Pandemic Act to have constitutional implications that remove parliamentary control of public expenditure and bypassing established acts of parliament.
“The pandemic law part seven removes the parliamentary control over the ration and expenditure of public monies,” Namah said.
“It places all these controls under the executive government and the National Pandemic Controller.
“Section 5 excludes operation of the National Procurement Act (2018) and the Public Finance Management Act (1995).
“Section 51 states that the National Procurement Act and the Public Finance Management Act do not apply to all procurement undertaken for a national response during a declared period.
“This is basically saying that the national executive government, the prime minister and the Covid-19 controller can do anything they want. They can go outside the procurement process and the public finance management act and raise funds and expand it as and how they see fit.”
Namah said this invited corruption at a high level and was intended as a scheme for a few in government.
This, he said, abrogated the powers and functions of the auditor-general and public accounts committee and vested its control on the executive government.
“The whole law alters the constitutional system of government by removing powers of parliament and vesting it in the control of the executive government and the National Pandemic Controller,” Namah said.
“It being a constitutional law, a state of emergency is harder to declare and for a limited time. That means you can now longer declare a state of emergency because this law now supersedes the state of emergency and places the control of the entire country in the hands of a few without them being subject to the law. Subject to the law meaning without them being held accountable to the people of this country.
“That means that the prime minister can give big amounts of contracts to his relatives and friends and he is not subject to prosecution.
“That means the health minister, the police minister and police commissioner, who is the National Pandemic Controller, can do the same.”
Namah said anyone who the executive government gave powers to, could do almost anything and not held subject to prosecution under the laws of the country.

18 comments

  • This is a welcome challenge and will be following it closely….Go ahead Belden!!

    There is too much power in a few people. The right to freedom of choice/movements have already been put at risk when in fact “information dissemination” on risk-factors for catching a disease and the preventative measures should be applied as a public health response. Information alone should dictate a person on how to behave concerning diseases….in the case of COVID-19, the Controller barks out instructions that are MANDATORY without giving a heck of a thought on “individual rights” or “freedom of choice” etc. not to mention the quick and easy access to public funds bypassing the Public Finance Management Act requirements.

    It doesn’t sink well with me when killer conditions such as TB, Cancer, Malaria, Pneumonia, Road Traffic Accidents etc etc are not given the same treatment as been given to COVID-19. Doesn’t make sense.

  • Hon. Namah is very true in his part to review the Pandemic Act 2000 in the Supreme Court. The Pandemic Act 2000 undermines the National Consitution of this country with existing Laws, and give powers to the Executive to make decisions on where to spend large amounts of money away from the PFM Act processes and protocols and are not held accountable for. It is very true in the case of this Pandemic Corona _19 virus where Millions of Kina allocated towards the Pandemic and all have been used up in 2 to 3 moths and now nothing when the cases are increasing. There is NO PPE for teh health workers to use.
    Can the Prime Minister – JM and the Police Commissioner explain where the funds are??

    Namah, good on you, go ahead and review the Pandemic Act 2000.

  • Well articulated, we the ordinary, simple, grassroots and under- privileged people actually support this very import call. Belden Namah, if all MP’s have supported the passing of this law and you can stand against and challenge it on our behalf, we are proud of you and so humbled.
    God bless you.

  • Good on you Namah. If the laws have been bent or twisted, there is most likely to be a motive behind it. This is kind of act is a corrupt in nature. Let the courts analyse this and let the country know the results.

  • PANGU wants to return in 2022 and is doing anything it can to control the media and lure international attention for more funding. The two didn’t die of covid 19 but other diseases as confirmed by the doctors. The scary figures making headlines are only being dictated very secretly by the National “Plandamic” control centre. The media is now controlled. Even some professional doctors are being politically motivated. They are not really honest and are pursuing their own interest by diceiving the public. Government had made enough billions already from its fat lies. It’s very frustrating now when this government cannot uplift all these unnecessary lock downs. This is white collar corruption by these few heartless and money hungry people. People are unnecessarily suffering. Thank you Hon. Belden Namah for the rescue in instigating legal proceedings for the people. You are best opposition leader ever in PNG’s history.

  • I agree. This move will transform PNG into a totalitarian state. You can not take away our rights! Its absurd. This only reflects a shameless and power hungry government. Let the people be! We voted you into power to protect our interests not to use that power to deny us our freedom. Are there any good men left?

  • Hon. Belden Namah, I don’t like other things you are doing but I salute you for taking up the challenge to challenge the Pandamic Law…this law is not in the best interest of this nation…so please fight to the end, the patriotics are right behind you…thank you.

  • This is just another politically motivated propaganda from a Power-Hungry Barking Dog!!!
    Namah just leave PMJM alone cos we all know who you are!!!

  • Thank you Hon. Namah. Millions of kina has been taken out by the Government during the first lockdown and yet they did not address most of the Health issues in the country. Nurses are crying for their allowances, Port Moresby General Hospital is seeking PPE assistance from business houses and individuals. PPE’s are not reaching the provincial hospitals and rural Aidpost to fight Covid19. Where are all these funds????? Prime Minister Marape and those who supported this move to amend the Pandemic Act have done it for personal interest.

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