Mekere Labeled Government Takeover of Ok Tedi as Stealing

The proposed mover bythe National Government to take over Ok Tedi Mining has been labelled as stealing fromthe people of Western Province.


Chairman ofthPNG Sustainable Development Program, Sir Mekere Morauta, accusedthe government for trying to take shares belonging tothe People of Western without due compensation and proper explanation.

Sir Mekere saidthe take-over would see 63.4% in shares for the Western people taken away fromthem.


Sir Mekere questioned whythe Prime Minister wanted to take awaythe assets ofthe people of Western Province underthPNGSDP custody without compensatingthem for environmental damages.


Sir Mekere said he had no personnel conflict with Prime Minister Peter O’Neill but most of whatthe Prime Ministersaid accusing him of serving BeP and foreign interest was grossly misleading.


“PNGSDP has a very strong governance structure. What is his definition of accountability?” questioned Mekere.

He saidthere should have been public discussion onthe matter and thatthe government’should take time to relook atthe consequences involved when trying to make Ok Tedi Mine a State Owned Enterprise.


Sir Mekere said for the government to simply say thatthere are mistakes needing correction withthe current management was shallow, andthe mistakes should be pointed out for the country andthe stakeholders to know.


“Who is tellingthe truth, him or me? Who is misleading? Who is throwingthe faults? It’sthe Prime Minister.” said Mekere.

He added thatthe mover will see political interference inthe running ofthe mine, andthe use of money totalling up to 1.6 billion US Dollars kept in custody bPNGSDP for future use by Western people whenthe mine ended its operation.


“1.6 billion US Dollars are for the people of Western Province and he’s going to take it for free,” said Mekere.

It is understood that Prime Minister Peter O’Neill justifliedthe mover as appropriate due to stagnancy inthPNGSDP’serving Western people’s interest overthe last ten years sincethe board was established.


However, Sir Mekere likenedthe mover to stealing, whichthe people of Western did not deserve.


He saidthe government’should reconsider legislatingthe mover as yet.


“This is a very important legislation. Forthe first timethPNG Government is expropriating assets without payment fromthe people of Papua New Guinea not from foreigners. I hope he (O’Neill) will bethe first Prime Minister andthe last Prime Minister to do this,” said Mekere.

“This expropriation should be discussed publicly bythe people of Papua New Guinea not just driven bythe Prime Minister on his own,” he said.

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