Monday, September 20, 2010

Kerema MP bashed in rural Kaintiba



KEREMA MP Pitom Titus Bombom is nursing a bruised body after his constituents in the Kainteba district attacked him when he flew there last Thursday to celebrate the 35th Independence Day anniversary, The National reports.

More than 300 men, women and children were at the airstrip to welcome him but a group set upon him with sticks and stones as he stepped off the plane.

Last night, Bombom, a first-term MP, was nursing a cut to the right upper chin and a bamboo spear wound on his back.

According to eyewitnesses, police security and others who had escorted the MP on the chartered flight fled as soon as the attack started.

Bombom ran into a makeshift shelter but a group from the crowd followed him there and continued attacking him with sticks and stones, they said, adding that he could have been beaten unconscious.

Someone from the crowd threw a bamboo spear at the member, hitting him on the back

Luckily for Bombom, police officers, who had travelled separately to Kaintiba with Gulf Governor Havila Kavo earlier, intervened and chased away the violent mob, saving him from further attacks.

The Kaintiba, or Kanabea people, who live in the mountains bordering Gulf, Eastern Highlands and Morobe, are part of the Kerema Open electorate and they are culturally different from the coastal constituents.

They said Bombom had not visited them since winning the Kerema seat in the 2007 general elections.

Kaintiba local level government president Jerry Yeninga was evidently angry with the MP who, he claimed, had continuously lied to his people about providing them basic services.

“No one has organised the people to bash up the member, it was unplanned,” Yeninga said at the weekend.

“They have shown their frustration on the member for continuously lying to them and not even visiting them or providing a single project or development in Kaintiba.”

Yeninga said the people were equally frustrated with Bombom’s recent involvement in the Gulf provincial politics where a vote of no-confidence was taken to depose Kavo and name him as alternate governor until the courts intervened to restore Kavo as head of the province.

He said the Kaintiba leaders had urged their MP to make peace with Kavo in Kaintiba and demanded that he delivered on his failed promises.

“It is almost four years and Bombom has not provided a single service to Kaintiba,” Yeninga said.

The attack disrupted the Independence Day programme in Kaintiba but Kavo, who went to the area separately, restored order and addressed the people.

Bombom, still shocked but recovered from the attack, was given time to address the crowd but did not say much and left soon after with his delegation.


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