Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Zurenuoc calms tension in force

CHIEF secretary Manasupe Zurenuoc yesterday went to Konedobu to meet the top echelon of the police force for a crisis meeting after news broke that Police Commissioner Gari Baki would be sacked two months before his contract expires next January, The National reports.
Documents were leaked over the weekend to the media which showed that Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare had directed Public Service Minister Peter O’Neill to suspend Baki and replace him with Tony Wagambie.
The prime minister had accused Baki of misleading senior members of the cabinet over a submission for K10 million to deploy police in the LNG project area.
The move caused tension and uneasiness in the police force.
Divisions and rivalries in recent years within the force had left wounds, which have not completely healed, and news of the move to remove Baki immediately triggered mixed reactions.
The government dispatched Zurenuoc to speak to the top officers and calm them.
One officer who attended the meeting said the chief secretary assured them that no one would be sacked, and the government had no desire to create instability within the force.
Cabinet met yesterday, but it was understood a submission to suspend Baki was deferred.
It was unclear what had happened to the K10 million cheque that Baki and former police minister Sani Rambi were accused of receiving after allegedly misleading cabinet over law and order issues and police deployment in the LNG areas.
It was understood the K10 million cheque was passed to Rambi by Finance secretary Gabriel Yer on Oct 29 at about 5:30 in the afternoon at the Vulupindi House car park.
By the time the cheque was handed over, redeployment of police unit to the troubled areas in the Southern Highlands had already taken place.

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