The National, Monday July 1st, 2013
By JUNIOR UKAHA
PUBLIC funds belong to the people and they have the right to know how it is being used, a local level government (LLG) elections candidate said on Saturday.
Passingan Taru, who will contest the Salamaua LLG president’s seat, said if he became president he would ensure records of how money was used were presented to the people.
“This is their money they have the right to know,” he said.
Taru, who had just came back to Lae from days of campaigning in the rugged Salamaua area, said he was surprised by the response he got from the people when he explained to them that their LLG received K200,000 annually as unconditional grants from the provincial government.
“They were surprised by what I told them,” he said.
“Many of the voters I talked to said they do not know about the money and how it was used to benefit them.”
Taru, a former lawyer and provincial police commander, said now that the government had increased the LLG funds to K500,000, cases of abuse and misappropriation would increase.
“When I take office this will change. Everything will be accounted for,” he said.
“I will investigate how the LLG funds are used and recoup all funds and assets misappropriated and give it back to the people.”
Taru said a cocoa fermentry was just K8,000 and coffee pulpers were just K300 but in the past five years not a single fermentry or pulper had been bought by the LLG for the people of Salamaua.
“I will see that this changes. My people deserve better,” he said.
“What belongs to the people will be given to them fully.”