Trouble flared between supporters who are of different tribes and a fight broke out when ballot boxes for 9 traditional polling stations were brought to Kerowil Singirok Barracks, in the North Waghi Electorate.
According to an eyewitness, the trouble escalated when the people learnt they could not vote at the allocated polling places.
The villagers disarmed five police men who were left behind by the police vehicle driver who fled in the vehicle, but later agreed to return the four firearms taken off them. They also torched a Jiwaka regional candidate’s vehicle.
Police then retaliated and burnt down 4 houses belonging to the villagers and a trade store recently stocked up with K5000 worth of store goods was set alight.
When contacted, Timothy Kulame, told EMTV Online the people of Dange Tribe in North Waghi did not want to vote at Kerowil Singirok Barracks because it is situated in the perimeters of the Tsenglap Tribe.
It is understood, there were unresolved fights, and enmity between the clans of the two tribes still festers.
“We had a meeting and briefing with Jiwaka Election Steering Committee, Returning Officers, Assistant Returning Officers and PPC Tondop about the issues surrounding the fight last time,”
He said Chief Secretary Issac Lupari agreed with the venue change but the venue was not gazetted.
“Basically, the people of the Kapalku 1, Kapalku 2 and Ngumbkora 1 LLGs were told they were going to vote at their own polling places after the EC rescinded its decision to centralise them to Kerowil,” Kulame said.
He said when the ballot boxes arrived; they were all transported to Kerowil Singorok Barracks, but the people demanded they be honoured with the word from EC which was to vote in their traditional polling place.
Meanwhile, most polls in North Waghi have gone well and were completed today.