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This week's local news - July 18 - 21, 2013.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Kikori landowners go to court over MoA funds

KIKORI Women's Association has gone to court over the millions of kina Kutubu Memorandum of Agreement funds.

It was alleged that funds that were supposed to be appropriated for major projects in the Kikori District were spent by associations who were not part of the Kutubu MoA.

According to the President of the Kikori Women's Association, the only female leader who was held by Boroko police for nearly 24 hours last year for speaking out the truth against prominent leaders from the Kikori pipeline area who allegedly misused monies belonging to her people has filed a case against those allegedly involved in dishing out the MoA funds.

The association claimed that the Kutubu MoA funds to Fasu and Foe land groups were paid while they have yet to receive theirs.

It also claimed that on March 19, the Secretary for Finance in contravention of the Public Finance Management Act wrote to the Secretary for National Planning to release K20 million from the Kutubu Commitment Trust Account directly to the Kikori District Treasury Operating Account held at the BSP Bank in Kerema in which it was in breach of the financial procedures under the Pubic Finance Management Act.

It was alleged that the money was electronically transferred to the Kikori District Treasury operating account.  The K20 million was not an Administrative Support Grant under section 92 of the Organic Law on Provincial and Local Level Government Council and could have been deposited in the Kikori Oil Pipeline Landowners Association.

The association alleged that the K20 million being not a District Support Grant under section 95(A) nor a Provincial Support Grant under Section 95(B) of the Organic Law on Provincial Government, should have been payable to KOPLA's account.

Mrs Gibere said a K10 million for housing projects in Kikori had gone missing with no houses being built.
She said another K10 million for the landowners is still pending while they are also waiting the release of K9.7 million. The landowner groups only received K50,000 each and KOPLA, the only recognised association under the Kutubu MoA, was paid K100,000.

Mrs Gibere described media reports about a reconciliation meeting of landowner groups with Minister Mark Maipakai as a joke as her group is the one that is taking legal proceedings against him.

She said: "I am the principal plaintiff on the case against Minister Mark Maipakai over the K20m he allegedly received from the Kikori Landowners MoA Funds and I will pursue the matter vigorously without fear or favor."

She also denied claims that projects were implemented from that K20m. She said the Kikori to Omati to Kumaio road was built by Turama Forest Industries under the Timber Rights Purchase Agreement and not from the K20m.

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