The National, Thursday January 30th, 2014
MORE than 200 families became homeless and thousands of kina worth of properties, including high covenant buildings, was burnt to ashes in a dawn raid following the death of
Ombudsman, John Nero early this month.
Families fled into the mountains in fear of their lives when the Kanosa tribe attacked the Gireku village and targeted Runumbe tribesmen when news of Nero’s death reached them.
Properties damaged and burnt down were 15 high covenant buildings, coffee bags, coffee pulpers, televisions sets, portable sawmills, chainsaws and many valuable household items.
Simon Makare, who lost his permanent house, said they were left only with the clothes they were wearing.
He said the Kanosa tribe where the late Nero’s father comes from wanted to avenge his death by attacking the Runumbe tribe that included deceased’s maternal relatives.
“When the Kanosa tribesmen ran amok into our village, we ran off into the bushes and mountain in fear of our lives because they (Kanosa) are known for armed tribal warfare,” Makare said.
Another village leader Mondawe Wobo said Gireku village that went up in flames was a well-developed village in the Daulo district.
“Our village was the only modern village ever to be found in the whole of Asaro Valley or in Daulo district,” Wobo said.
He said his high covenant house was the only one that was not burnt but had all its windows smashed and properties in the house were all stolen.
Meanwhile, the casket of the late Nero is at the Glenrowen Funeral Home in Goroka after funeral services over the weekend.
Preparations for the burial are underway at the Gireku village.
It was there, where Nero collapsed last month and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.