Police warn villagers near Kumalu River to respect commuters


POLICE are warning youths from villages near the Kumalu River in Mumeng, Bulolo, to show respect to commuters and stop harassing and robbing them.
Many people including businesses people and public servants have been intimidated, attacked and robbed and womenfolk and schoolgirls raped when crossing the river or camping on either side of the river waiting for floods to subside.
Though the commuters spend a lot of money to buy food from roadside stores and markets when they camp for three to five days, they were still attacked and robbed.
Bulolo Police Station commander Leo Kaikas appealed to councillors from nearby Gamox, Witipos, Mumengtain, Kumalu 1 and 2, Patep-Munanu and Zenag to show their leadership roles.
“This is a public highway damaged by natural disaster which is beyond human control, therefore locals cannot capitalise on flood to collect fees, threaten bulldozer operators from clearing debris or robbing people,” Kaikas said.
“Can’t councillors and community leaders take ownership of leadership responsibilities as many passengers have already sustained injuries and lost thousands in cash and valuable items.
“Many victims in Bulolo, Wau, Biaru, Waria, Aseki and Menyamya are frustrated, therefore to avoid major ethnic clashes in future, educate local youths to refrain from attacking commuters” Kaikas said.
Kaikas said the locals should appreciate and respect stranded passengers spending more money to buy from local roadside stores and markets.
“Kumalu River situation is a natural disaster and the locals must appreciate by providing security to commuters and sell more, even provide transit homes because the business is booming at either side,” Kaikas said.
He urged commuters to travel between 6am and 6pm and not at night.
Bulolo police are handicapped by one vehicle.