Okapa district office reopens

National, Normal

THE flow of basic district government services in Okapa, Eastern Highlands province, is expected to resume after three months.
This follows a reconciliation ceremony to put to rest differences between a tribal group with Okapa MP Bonny Oveyara and district administrator Michael Mogia.
The Okapa district office was shut down last December when public servants fled after an attack on Mr Oveyara and Mr Mogia by members of a tribe over responses they received for claims they submitted.
The Kanite and Ibusa tribes of Okapa damaged vehicles and chased public servants out of the district office when they were angered by the negative responses to their claims.
Mr Oveyara said he initiated for reconciliation because the flow of basic services to rural areas was one of his main priorities.
“To ensure services flow, public servants, MPs, the people and  stakeholders must work together,” he said.
Mr Oveyara said there was no effective flow of services in the district as public servants operated out of Okapa station.
Deputy provincial administrator John Gimisive announced the transfer of Mogia to Daulo.
“Mr Mogia’s Daulo counterpart Maniha Ipae will be the Okapa’s new district administrator,” he said.
They should be in their new locations by April 9.
Mr Gimisive challenged the tribes in the district to guarantee the safety of public servants before they returned to Okapa.
Speaking on behalf of the people of East Okapa, Andrew Sarepe and  Lawrence Onduma assured that there would be peace and harmony with no more threats on public servants.
“The problem was caused by a minority group of people who brought sufferings to the bulk of the population.
“Public servants must return, we need services.
“For three months the Okapa district administration was being operated by ghosts,” Mr Sarepe said.