PM blasts Morauta

The National, Wednesday July 20th, 2016

PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill has condemned former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta for peddling rumours as fact in an attempt to undermine the government of the day.
Sir Mekere accused O’Neill of running down the country’s economy.
“He raided the PNGSDP (PNG Sustainable Development Programme) by illegally expropriating OTML (Ok Tedi Mining Ltd), without compensation, he has raided OTML itself and he is still trying to raid PNGSDP and get his hands on the US$1.3 billion (K4bn) in the long-term fund,” Sir Mekere said in a statement.
O’Neill said Sir Mekere had no conscience over many deaths that were occurring due to his failures and manipulation of the PNGSDP funds.
“He is more worried that his sins will be exposed by this Government, particularly as this relates to the questionable use of millions of dollars from the PNGSDP,” he said.
“This is not the private business of Mekere Morauta but is money that belongs to the people of Western.
“Mekere lost in the international arbitration tribunal when the court ruled that he has no standing as an investor and his claim of the expropriation of OK Tedi shares is squashed.
“Just recently, the Singapore High Court directed PNGSDP to provide to State lawyers with all the management accounts and information on long-term funds.
“These orders were issued because millions of dollars have been drawn down from the long-term fund and there is growing evidence of gross mismanagement.
“If this information is not provided, the State will file criminal proceedings against all the directors, including Mekere, as has been sanctioned by the court.
“Mekere also has to explain to the people of Western province why he continues to receive millions of dollars each year as the chairman when his position has become untenable.
“When prime ministers leave office, they should demonstrate dignity and represent the nation as an elder statesman and make a contribution to national development.
“All we are hearing from Mekere Morauta is this constant stream of bitterness and anger that is based on rumours, hearsay and issues that no law-abiding person would discuss because these matters are before the courts.”