Friday, June 18, 2010

MP Wau pressed trigger, say locals

Police probe Sunday’s highway shooting


POLICE in Chimbu have begun investigations into a shooting incident allegedly involving Kerowagi MP Guma Wau, The National reports.

The incident happened last Sunday evening at Simgau village along the Urinigle section of the Highlands Highway.

A man from the Waugla tribe, 50-year-old John Agaundo Bongro, was shot and is now recovering at the Kundiawa General Hospital.

Acting provincial police commander Albert Korin yesterday confirmed police action and said they had identified 21 witnesses.

“As soon as the paperwork is ready, we will bring the MP in for questioning, which is a normal police investigation procedure.

“I am confident that police would complete the investigation by this weekend,” Korin said.

However, Wau has denied using a firearm and said he was nearly robbed of K120, 000 by youths who set up the roadblock.

The money was to pay for a road pro-ject in his electorate.

Wau said five youths, allegedly under the influence of homebrew, saw him driving up the hill towards Kundiawa with his family and four other boys.

He said one of the youths, armed with a big stone, stood in the middle of the road and blocked his vehicle.

Wau recalled: “After stopping my vehicle, a youth who lived close to my wife’s village in Waigar, about a kilometre away, and other youths came out of their hiding in some bushes, swore at me and a fight broke out with the youths in my vehicle.”

He said only stones and sticks were used, not a pistol as claimed (See related story).

Korin said police would talk to all 21 witnesses and establish who actually pulled the trigger resulting in a man being shot.

“When this is established, a formal arrest will be made.”

Korin told The National from his Kundiawa office yesterday afternoon that although tension remained high between Wau’s tribe and the Wauglas, both sides had agreed not to take the law into their own hands.

He said the villagers had cooperated with police to see justice take its course.

But, relatives of Bongro, the man hospitalised, have brushed aside the MP’s claims of a roadblock and an attempted K120, 000 robbery.

Camilus Dangma, Waugla tribal leader and the victim’s elder brother said: “There was no roadblock.

“There was only a group of boys on the roadside swearing at each other as the MP drove by.

“The MP swore back and was leaving when his wife uttered defamatory remarks which angered the bystanders.

“That caused the problem that led to Wau firing the

shots,” Dangma said.

According to reports, two sets of shots were fired, the first to disperse the crowd and the second allegedly wounded Bongro (See separate story).

Kundiawa hospital senior doctor John Tonar confirmed Bongro had sustained a gunshot wound on his leg.

Meanwhile, it is understood that Chimbu provincial administrator Joe Kunda had instructed Kerowagi district administrator Guma Kowane to impound all government vehicles and explained why three vehicles were allegedly used to transport the MP’s tribesmen to Urinigle village.

Police hope to wrap up their investigations by this weekend.


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