The National, Monday October 28th, 2013
SINCE the declaration of the new mayor, the main centres in Lae city such as Eriku, Top Town and the main market have witnessed the immediate return of the street sales people or merchants.
As a result of this, one can observe a rise in crimes in the city.
The street merchants are the source of lawlessness we have experienced in the past years.
The lawlessness in Lae city reached its climax in 2011 when a primary school girl was gang-raped in broad daylight at Eriku.
This led to an all-out ethnic clash between the local Morobeans and the Highlanders, where most of the streets merchants originate from.
A lot of lives were lost when there is ethnic clash between Highlanders and Morobeans.
Most of the deaths occurred among the Morobeans, and millions of
kina worth of property was destroyed as well.
Street selling provides an avenue for criminals to pretend to be street merchants while collecting information or studying the movements of potential victims.
These people, who have scant regard for laws and regulations, were the cause of some of the biggest problems for Lae City apart from the ethnic clashes.
But thank God for the leadership at the provincial and national level at that time, it was brought under control after a police task force from other centres such as NCDC and the Highlands provinces were deployed.
As a long-term resident of Lae City, it is worrying to see the return of these people who caused destruc-
tion of property and loss of innocent lives.
There were also responsible for a lot of petty crime as well as more serious ones such as robbery and rape.
The current Governor and newly-elected mayor may have not been in Lae to experience what the rest of us have gone through, but it would be important to their administration of Morobe and Lae city that law and order must be maintained by calling for more police in the city.
Please do not pretend that nothing is happening.
We do not need to see the rape of another underage schoolgirl, or for senior city officials to be personally affected before action is taken.
As mothers, fathers and responsible citizens, let us all demand our rights to freedom of movement and law and order to be maintained by the local administration and police force.
The street merchants also sell betel nuts everywhere and spitting out betel nut chew makes the freshly- cemented streets look filthy.
The Morobe governor must follow NCD’s lead by banning betel nuts.