ANDREW ALPHONSE in TARI
A SENIOR Southern Highlands public servant was attacked and nearly lost his life while trying to save State land from illegal occupation and ownership.
However, Komo-Margarima district administrator Tumbi Yari is likely to regain vision in his right eye permanently.
He received 18 stitches on his head and a further 12 stitches to his right eye socket.
He told The National in Tari yesterday that the incident happened last Thursday morning at Margarima government station when he saw some people carrying out survey on a piece of State land.
Mr Yari said he walked across from his office and asked the surveyor why he was conducting the survey.
The surveyor told him that he was hired out by a local man and Lower Wage local level government officer Abraham Makiba.
Mr Yari said he asked the surveyor to stop work as it was a State land and as the government officer in charge of the district, he was not aware of the survey team’s presence in the district.
He said while he was talking, Mr Makiba approached him with a group of boys and started arguing with him. Suddenly, they attacked him and he was hit by a bush knife.
Mr Yari was rushed to Tari hospital where he was assisted by the Medicines Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders).
While in hospital, Mr Yari’s tribesmen from Upper Wage LLG area mobilised to start a tribal war with Mr Makiba’s tribe.
However, Mr Yari, still recovering from his injuries, returned to Margarima and asked his people not to fight.
He said he was a public servant doing his job when he was attacked and he would bring the matter up with the police and the courts.
Local MP Francis Potape condemned the attack and asked for police to have the culprits arrested and charged.
Provincial police commander Supt Jimmy Onopia said Tari police would have the suspects apprehended this week.