The National, Tuesday July 2nd, 2013
By JUNIOR UKAHA
POLICE in Morobe are still waiting for funds to carry out their planned operations for the local level government elections in the province.
Provincial police commander Leo Lamei told The National yesterday that police personnel were ready to move into the rural areas but did not have any funds to do so.
“We have made a request to the provincial government for a funding of K70,000 but they haven’t come back to us,” he said.
“At the moment I do not know where the funds will come from.”
Polling for the LLG elections will start on Saturday, according to a recent statement issued by Electoral Commissioner Andrew Trawen.
“If we do not get this funding then we cannot go to the polling areas in rural places,” Lamei said.
He said Morobe was a large and heavily populated province.
Places like Waria, Garaina, Salamaua, Morobe Patrol Post, Finschhafen, Tewai-Siassi and Kabwum were not connected to Lae by road and made travelling difficult.
“We will need boats and helicopters to get there but we don’t have them,” Lamei said.
He added that the funding request was for transportation, allowances, logistics and rations for his 132 regular officers and auxiliary policemen who would be involved in the operations.
Meanwhile, the Morobe provincial administration said funds for police election operations were awaiting clearance.
“We have budgeted K200,000 each for the provincial commander and the metropolitan superintendent to run their operations,” deputy administrator Patilias Gamato said.
“These are no funds from the Electoral Commission but assistance given is by the provincial administration to police.”
Gamato said the Electoral Commission did not allocate any funds for police for the LLG elections.
He added that the funds would be released as soon as they were cleared by the Morobe administration.