LEADERS in Enga Province are planning to push for the replacement of senior policemen in the province with their own men as part of a move to crackdown on law and order problems in the area.
The leaders are blaming the top cops in the province for the rise in lawlessness.
Enga Governor Peter patas and Lagaip-Porgera MP Philip Kikala, told an assembly meeting last Friday that a slackness by policemen in the province in dealing with law and order problems had compelled them to bring senior policemen from Enga, who are currently serving in other provinces, back.
“For instance, a shop was burnt down just in front of the police station this year, a Government driver was killed a few metres away from the town, and more than five people were killed in Surunki in cold blood murder.
“The suspects of these crimes were known but police have done nothing to make any arrests.
“The leadership in police operation in the province is so slack and those down the line are evidently lazy,” the two leaders said.
But observers in the province said the provincial leaders seem to be making their moves to remove the top police officers at a time when there was a real crackdown in illegal and widespread sale and consumption of alcohol.
Provincial police commander Supt Michael Chare, who is deputy chairman of the provincial liquor licencing board, told The National that there were more than 100 licenced liquor outlets, which was too many for a small province.
Supt Chare and the board suspended three outlets last week for breaching terms and conditions of their licence.
But Supt Chare may not be around long in the province if the politicians have their way.
“Owners of beer outlets in the province have a small power base of their own and are influential people who may end up winning the fight,” a public servant said.