Monday, July 25, 2011

Provincial politicians call acting prime minister to fast track entitlements


Former provincial politicians affected by provincial government reforms in 1995 have called on acting Prime Minister Sam Abal to fast track their payments.

The provincial politicians, who are fast losing their patience at constantly being given the cold shoulder by the Department of Provincial Affairs and Local Level Government, produced court and Cabinet documents approving K30 million to be paid to them

They said there was a court order in place from May, June and December 2010, however, a stay order instituted last January by the State through Peter Kuman Lawyers and Provincial Affairs and Local Level Government Secretary, Manasupe Zurenuoc, was proving to be a real stumbling block.

“This stay order by Provincial Affairs Secretary is an obstacle to the State,” they said in a letter to Abal dated July 11.

“As recipients of the said money, we feel that our basic rights are being denied by those in authority who are supposed to execute government directives.

“We are now wondering as to whose job it is to fast track this matter and settle this stay order before the court.

“We appeal to your good office to instruct the Office of Attorney General and the Secretary, Department of Provincial Affairs through Peter Kuman Lawyers, to immediately appear before the court and explain reasons of the stay order so that the high court can make decision as to how best this matter can be settled once and for all.”

Former Rabaul mayor Michael Konjib and former West Sepik assembly speaker John Wootong said their colleagues around the country were ageing and dying while waiting in vain for their entitlements.

“National Executive Council has made its decision,” Konjib said.

“However, despite the first decision being made by the NEC in 2007, we have received nothing yet.

“The secretary (Zurenuoc) says the K30m is still with him.”

Wootong said: “All we want is for our money to be paid immediately.

“Our colleagues out in the provinces are ageing and dying.

“We want the Prime Minister to intervene.”

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