PNGTA staff to go without pay

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By SAMUEL BARIASI
PAPUA New Guinea Teachers’ Association (PNGTA) staff will not be receiving their salaries this week because their newly-elected president Aita Senengkepe has alledgedly closed the association’s operating bank accounts.
PNGTA general-secretary Ugwalubu Mowana said Senengkepe went to the bank sometime last week with his lawyer “claiming to be representing PNGTA” and closed PNGTA’s account without a court order.
Mowana said Senengkepe’s election as president and two other executives was in breach of the association’s constitution because all three were retired teachers.
“The three candidates elect, Synell Ko’ou as vice-president and Momase Women’s representative Monica Manase have been identified as persons with no standing to hold office, according to the PNGTA constitution,” he said
Attempts to reach Senengkepe for comment regarding the closure of accounts were unsuccessful.
However, he issued a media statement last week saying Mowana was not authorised to make public statements on behalf of the PNGTA.
“Only the national president or the vice-president is authorised to make all public statements on matters of national importance,” Senengkepe said.
“The association has now faced an unprecedented situation where the national general secretary is engaging the media to make public statements in relation to PNGTA affairs.
“Mowana is not an elected representative of teachers, he is an employee who reports to the national management committee (NMC) of PNGTA and his duties, functions and activities are subject to the authorisations and scrutiny of the NMC whose chairman is the PNGTA president.”

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