Chief Secretary: Power to Fire Government Heads Lies With Ministers Responsible

By Bridgette Komatep – EM TV, Port Moresby

Chief Secretary to the government, Sir Manasupe Zurenouc has clarified that the power to effect disciplinary action on public servants lies with the Minister responsible.

Sir Manasupe said this following strong criticism by Tugubu landowner spokesman, Simon Ekanda, who called on the Chief Secretary to be sacked, as their landowner issues were yet to be addressed by the Department of Petroleum and Energy.

Last week, Sir Manasupe called on top government officers to submit their performance reports before 16 January.

Sir Manasupe was brief when he gave his response. He said his department completed the necessary paper work for then-Minister for Petroleum and Energy, William Duma, to discipline his Secretary, Rendle Rimua. However, he says nothing has been done.

He said they can only recommend to respective government ministers, following any public complaints that the top heads of departments, and state-owned enterprises are not performing. As Chief Secretary, Sir Manasupe said he doesn’t have the power to fire government heads.

Landowner spokesman, Mr Ekanda, called on the Chief Secretary to be sacked because he failed to discipline DP Secretary, Rendle Rimua. He made these statements last week.

However, this news did not go down well with a group representing 300,000 people of Hela. President of Hela, Gimbu Damien Arabagali condemned Mr Ekanda’s remarks.

He said it was a slap in the face for someone like Sir Manasupe, who pushed for Hela to become a province.

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