Vehicle torched in SHP election celebrations

Main Stories, National

The National, Thursday 02nd August, 2012

A UTILITY vehicle was burnt during “extreme celebrations” by supporters of Southern Highlands governor-elect William Powi soon after they heard of his victory.
Powi’s supporters in Taguru village in Pangia’s South Wiru area were overjoyed at news of Powi’s win and slaughtered pigs, chickens to hold a big feast in his name at their remote village.
Powi led the race from the beginning of counting and was declared winner of the seat last Friday in front of a packed crowd at the Momei Oval in Mendi town.
The seat was held by Anderson Agiru who vacated it to contest the Hela provincial seat and won.
The vehicle was owned by James Peapo, who was also Powi’s election coordinator in the area.
He was at the counting centre in Mendi when it was torched.
He returned to the village to find his car in ashes with the “crazy” supporters celebrating with posters and banners of local MP Peter O’Neill and Powi.
“I was shocked to see my burnt car, but could not do much as the supporters were at the height of extreme celebrations,” Peapo said yesterday.
Councillor Terry Tame said Wiru people had lacked government services over the years and were looking forward to seeing changes, especially better roads.