Yangoru candidate accuses youths handing out cash

National, Normal

The National, Thursday 05th July, 2012

A CANDIDATE in the Yangoru-Saussia electorate, East Sepik province, has accused a rival candidate of giving out cash before and during polling at Harimpo village last Wednesday.
Thompson Benguma, who is from Harimpo village, said a number of the candidate’s supporters, especially youths from the village, handed out cash to voters on Tuesday night and during polling the next day.
“I was reliably told that cash was handed out on the night before polling and on Wednesday,” he said.
“Envelopes containing K50 notes were given to voters as they came out of the polling booth after casting their votes.”
Benguma said the candidate was a very respectable person and whom he regarded as a brother and he never expected him to bribe voters from his village.
Benguma said the action of the candidate had prompted another candidate from the area to pay K500 per vote the same day in a bid to stop the former from collecting all first preferences from the village.
He described the actions of the candidates as “very unethical and demeaning.”
“I was approached by some policemen who asked me for cash so they could assist me but I said no,” he said.
“I cannot be swayed by anybody, I am a leader and I believe in helping people make their own money and not giving anyone money,” Benguma said.