The National – Monday, June 20, 2011
FORMER Southern Highlands’ provincial administrator William Powi should have been accorded an honourable exit for bringing the province back to stability, former Tari hospital chief executive officer, Dr Bravy Koensong said.
He said Powi deserved a better farewell because he had done much for the province since a State of Emergency was declared six years ago.
“Powi’s efforts have gone unrecognised after he faced the huge task of managing the province when it was in chaos, in the midst of a gun battle and was a chaotic and corruptive province,” Koensong said.
“He resurrected and cleaned the province, employed highly-educated people as public servants and it was not fair for him to go through the ordeal he had to.
“Politics is only one aspect of life and should be set aside, and Powi should have been credited.”
He said while politics in the province was at its worst, Powi had worked on a corporate plan which was one of the best in the country.
He said despite major hiccups, Powi had ensured the resource-rich province was back on track.
He commended Powi’s efforts, saying he had seen the need for a workable development plan that would guarantee the delivery of basic minimum services to the rural poor.
Koensong said the task for treasurer and acting administrator Lawrence Okoloben was to “keep the fire burning”.
He said that was not happening because of a pending court case.
“Okoloben is capable of continuing from there but the government should have allowed for an honourable exit for Powi and appreciated a job well done.”
He called on the government’s intervention by appointing a permanent administrator so that “confidence is restored, especially with the developments on the massive LNG project taking place”.
He said how the province changed would depend on major government decisions to improve the situation as the “unpredictable politics” in the province was sending the wrong signals to public servants, educated elites, donors, NGOs, investors and major developers.