PRIME Minister James Marape says he has “nothing to hide” regarding his involvement in the purchase of two diesel generators from Israel in 2014, when he was the finance minister.
He was responding to Opposition Leader Belden Namah who this week called on police to arrest Marape as well for his involvement in that transaction.
It followed the arrest of former Prime Minister Peter O’Neill last Saturday over the matter. He is now facing one count of abuse of office, one count of official corruption and one count of misappropriating K50 million of public funds to buy the two generators.
Marape yesterday said in a statement he had nothing to hide on the deal.
“It is ironic that O’Neill was locked up by police last Saturday because of a complaint (lodged) by Namah six years ago,” Marape said.
“However, Namah was the first to meet him at the cell (at the Boroko police station in Port Moresby last Saturday) and was all apologetic.
“The worst of enemies are now the best of friends, or so it seems.”
Marape said if he had indeed done something wrong in the Israeli generators deal, Namah did not implicate him with O’Neill when he lodged the complaint with police initially.
“If I have done something wrong in relation to the Israeli generators deal, why didn’t Namah include me in the complaint to police back in 2014?” Marape said.
“Why wait six long years, until after the arrest of O’Neill (last Saturday) to call for my arrest?
“I reiterate that I will not stop police from arresting anyone, including myself, when investigating matters of public concern.
“I am not one to run away from police or avoid getting arrested.
“I have already stated publicly that I will explain in court, as a State witness, my role in this whole saga of the Israeli generators.”
Meanwhile, Marape said yesterday the country was moving forward, contrary to what Namah had been “barking about”.
He said the Government’s first major achievement since taking office on May 29, 2019, was “taking back PNG from the corruption that had affected the country for many years”.
“The change of Government arose from a collective desire to take back PNG from the hands of people who practised greed, nepotism and cronyism.
“It is obvious that Namah sees this change as a threat to his very existence.
“We have taken back PNG from such people.”
Marape said the Government declared the State of Emergency on March 2 “to arrest the spread of the coronavirus in our communities”.
“The State of Emergency ends on June 2 when Parliament will reconvene to determine the new normal or living with Covid-19,” he said.
“Everyone can see what we have done, except Namah.”