The National –Monday,January 10, 2011
By HENRY MORABANG
THE whistleblower at the centre of allegations of mismanagement and misappropriation of sports funds against the PNG Sports Foundation CEO Iamo Launa has been suspended indefinitely.
The notice of suspension was issued to Camilus Kona last Friday by PNGSF executive Martin Tabel.
Kona’s suspension was one of several moves taken by PNGSF hierarchy on several senior staff members after The National first revealed the allegations against Launa last month.
Kona said the allegations were made within the foundation and there were no outside input which could lead to an investigation by the Ombudsman Commission.
“I stood up to take the challenge. I am prepared to face the music for the sake of the sportsmen and women of this country – and, importantly, for the good governance and transparency of public funds,” he said.
The Ombudsman Commission last Friday announced that it would investigate PNGSF after serving notice to Launa, board chairman Graham Osborne and the sports minister Philemon Embel concerning the allegations by PNGSF staffers.
The CEO will be investigated for the alleged improprieties under section 17 (1) of the Organic Law on the Ombudsman Commission.
Kona was suspended as Ombudsman Commission officer John Nero prepares a file to commence investigation into the government-funded national sports body.
Launa made headlines in PNG and the Pacific region for her sporting prowess as a champion athlete but has made headlines of both dailies in recent weeks over the alleged misconduct.
In interviews with Launa last month the PNGSF CEO made it clear she was under strict instructions from the board chairman Osborne not to speak to the media before and after this paper broke the story on Dec 29.
However, Launa apparently had a change of heart and promptly spoke to other media sources last week in which she is quoted as saying she was not given an opportunity to respond to The National who initially broke the story on her alleged misconduct in the office.