Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill, has sidelined two Senior Government ministers, amid claims of false Central Province land acquisition by the Defense and State Enterprises departments.
Defense Minister, Dr. Fabian Pok, and Minister for State Enterprises, William Duma, will give up their posts during investigations by the Police Fraud Squad, and the Ombudsman Commission.
Ministers Mao Zeming (Fisheries), and Charles Abel (National Planning), will act in the vacant portfolios.
The Prime Minister has also called for a National Executive Council (NEC) decision to also ask the Secretaries for Defense, and State Enterprises, including the Managing Directors of Motor Vehicle Insurance Limited (MVIL) and Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH), to step aside pending investigation outcomes.
EMTV Online was advised that the allegations are that the state business arms had colluded with the two department heads to make the purchases outside of NEC sanctions.
The Cabinet decision of 2012, O’Neill says, was for the relocation of the naval base, Murray and Taurama Barracks to inland Central Province. Any government spending amounting to over K10 million was a collective decision to be made by the NEC.
The circumventing of this NEC power has resulted in the call into the sackings and eventual inquiry.
The focus of investigations will be on:
– Land portion 406 in Manumanu at a cost of K46 million by Kumul Consolidated Holdings (KCH);
– Department of Defense acquiring of portion 698 at a cost of K15.4 million, also;
– Land portion 422 for K7.2 million and;
– Portion 423 for K9.2 million by Department of Defence;
The Commission of Inquiry will also include the private sector, people who own these portions of land, and others involved in the sale of a particular piece of land.