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January 17, 2021

Correctional Services Minister Calls on CS Officers to Perform Duties

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By Theckla Gunga – EM TV News, Port Moresby

Correctional Services officers have been directed to perform their duties as normal, despite the changes in the CS Commissioner’s position.

CS Minister, Jim Simatab, issued the order following the recent commotion between CS members in Port Moresby in regard to this change. 

This is the first time the minister has publicly commented since the NEC decision to change the commissioner in February.

In a statement released to the Media, the CS Ministry head says all officers who have vacated their official postings are to return to work immediately.

He added that both the Court instated commissioner, Michael Waipo, and NEC appointed commissioner, chief inspector, Bernard Nepo, to work together and prevent further disturbances in the operations of the Department.

An interview with the Bomana Jail Commander, Kiddy Keko, last week, has also revealed that those similar instructions to continue duties as normal were given to the warders guarding the Bomana prison.

“All warders at Bomana have been directed to perform duties as normal; the change in the CS posting is an executive decision, we are in the operational arm so that is not our concern,” Keko said.

Internal sources told EMTV News that the change in the commissioner’s position has created differences amongst the correctional officers.

However, in order to maintain the integrity of the department and to restore that unity amongst correctional officers in all CS centres in the country, both Nepo and Waipo have urged CS members to not take sides.  

What has transpired in the last four weeks can be summed up as; the position of the commissioner is occupied by Waipo pending the outcome of the supreme substantiative matter. 

The supreme court order that restrains Simatab and Nepo from interfering with Waipo’s reinstatement.


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