Home > Corruption, Papua New Guinea > PNG a corrupt ‘Mobocracy’ says Taskforce Sweep

PNG a corrupt ‘Mobocracy’ says Taskforce Sweep

Eoin Blackwell, AAP 

Corruption in Papua New Guinea’s government departments has become institutionalised, where illegality and secrecy is sanctioned to the extent that the nation is now a “Mobocracy”.

That’s what the government of PNG has been told by its corruption watchdog, Task Force Sweep, which on Thursday handed its final report on its seven-month investigation into malpractice across government agencies.

“Generally our investigations have revealed a very frightening trend of corruption in this country,” taskforce chairman Sam Koim says.

“The level of corruption has migrated from sporadic to systematic and now to institutionalisation, where government institutions are dominated by corrupt people who orchestrate corruption using lawful authorities.

“Institutions that are supposed to practise openness and provide check and balance are now becoming a secrecy haven, where they sanction illegality and secrecy.”

Describing corrupt officials as a mob, Mr Koim said they had turned PNG from a “constitutional democracy into (a) Mobocracy”.

Task Force Sweep was set up by PNG’s government in 2011 to investigate allegations of corruption in key government departments, such as Health and the powerful National Planning and Monitoring.

The full report has yet to be made public, but Mr Koim said 20 politicians will be referred to the ombudsman commission for further investigation, while 24 public servants had been suspended for “facilitating or benefiting from corruption”.

Mr Koim also said more than 10 lawyers will be referred to the PNG law society for investigation.

The taskforce has made headlines in recent months.

Last week, Mr Koim told AAP he had a prepared warrant for PNG’s powerful speaker, Jeffery Nape, although to date it has not been served.

Former foreign and planning minister Paul Tiensten fled to Brisbane in September after being summonsed by the taskforce to answer questions over the misappropriation of funds at the Department of Planning.

His case is now before the courts.

A spokesman for Prime Minister Peter O’Neill said the report would be presented to cabinet for consideration.

Task Force Sweep will continue its investigations.

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  1. Riipz
    May 10, 2012 at 8:51 pm

    I commend the Task Force Sweep for the brilliant job they doing to fight corruption…Corrutpion has become a norm in all government departments and we must rise up,support each other and weed out corruption.. Enough is enough! If it means to arrest Speaker Nape, go ahead and arrest him…May the nature reward people like Nape, Tiensten and other corrutp government officals them for robbing what is rightfully ours!!

  2. steve
    May 11, 2012 at 7:04 am

    now comes the hard part weeding out the worms from under their court orders and crap…be real men own up to your mistakes and answer to the people…all of you ….you filth you are all lying dogs who deserve everything the PNG law can throw at you…you are the reason this country is in the mess it is in.

  3. Menkee
    May 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    If you are serious why not investigate and arrest PM Peter Oneil about NPF and Don Polye and power hungry Belden Namah, and also chief secratery Manasupe Zurenuo…We wont be surprise if most of the 20 MPs are from Somare’s regime and the public servants are people from former government.
    One of the most important wild dogs is Sir Mekere Morauta..Why resign so suprisingly in the “elevent hour” before 2012 election…without giving the correct reasons of his resignation!! I dont think its about change in PNG Party leadership structure..this are just “celestial bulshit” He is afraid of something terrible he must have done while he is in power with the 9 month old ONamah “fregile unplanned” government…He his terrified because new government after the Election might find out..and put him on “spotlight”…We must know who is Mekere “He was one of the weakest PM in the political history of PNG …He sent PNG into “Intensive Care Unit” but thankyou we escape “Morge”…HE IS ONE OF THE COURRPT POTITICIAN…Check him do not let him exit his political career silently..

    SAM KOIM…If you are serious about corruption investigate those people mention above..particulary Mekere..Dont become a ONamah Government “Guinea pig” THANKYOU

  4. PK
    May 12, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Menkee, like most others that want this world to be perfect, is firing blank cartridges and wooden cannons. Your comments can equally apply to all and sundry in PNG politics, to all PMs. Mekere did some great things when PNG was around the bend. His strong point was accountability and harpooning leaders could not tell right from wrong or fact from fiction. The two worst PMs in my judgment were Wingti and Skate. Wingti developed wings and flighted money to the Caymens and looked up North the result of which this country is now overun by Asians. Skate was always skating on thin ice until he skated out of existence because he liked the scotch whisky too much. You can show modesty, humility, be humble and be still strong. A leader does not always have to assail the podium and preach from the pulpit or be a kind of Pope-mobil to assert his status and leadership

    There is a time to call it quits and live happily ever after! Tell this to Somare who you haven’t mentioned. Tell this to Wingti who has been trying to make a come back like George Foreman even though the hunch and punch isn’t there any more.

    Politicians earn peanuts. Yes, this is true. AND it is wrong to compare their remuneration with others or put them on parity with the masses some of whom belong to trade unions in this country. With such great leap into affluence this country is seeing we can afford a salary package based on a rationale that the only money they should ever touch or distribute to family and wantoks should be from their pay package. You pay peanuts, you end up with monkeys and comments like this from menkee. If paid well and with stringent oversight and accountability mechanisms in place, politicians shouldn’t steal. In fact, with an increrase in benefits including remuneration we might simply legitimize they money they are pilfering already anyway.

    It is absolutely amazing that we all get so hyped up about allegations. The simple thing is, you are innocent until proven guilty.

    This country has survived some trying challenges, it will always survive and repudiate the worst of times and challenges to come. This is the natural law of self-renewal.

    There is no need to shoot leaders down if you don’t like them. We have checks and balances and systems and processes in place and Sam Koim & Co should be commended, not condemned.

  5. Menkee
    May 12, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    Thank you PK ….let me remaind us this, a country is doom when its “leader is youth and they party all the time”…you think geting increase in benefits including remuneration will solve corruption practices in PNG, because everyone will have the money…so no one will steal. but remember money is the “root of all evil” you will always want more, more… the only thing in this world that never have satisfaction is MONEY..Money is not an assert for us to OWN but for us to USE it only. And in the process of using it we pump it in to tangible and longlasting developments (not free cash handout & free services),so dont try to own money, because you will not in your entire life…Most of top educated PNGans are thinking that have more remuneration and benefits we are ontop of the “food chain” so we can abuse processes and rip things upart and get away with it easily..Dont Forget Because of our “OWN MORE MENTALITY” we ourselves will kill our beautiful country.

    Task force sweep team, headed by Sam Koim was not constitutionally setup it was politically apointed by politician without proper proccess followed- there is no ACT in place to govern this institution up to this day. It was setup to be used as a O’Namah “political point scoring Board” Because:

    1. It will never arrest Speaker Jeffery Nape, which he stole K20 million from his electorate,rural development project (sam koim knowingly and quick to stated that lack of evidence. “Fat lie”)

    2. Investigate PM Peter O’Niell regarding NPF with Jimmy Maladina (What took you so long Koim)

    3. Belden Namah for K30million he promise to fund PNG Party in coming 2012 Election. Namah actually admited that he harvest this money from his “backyard” in his Vanimo Green Electorate. This is simple common sense,K30million is from K10million district development grant given every year by former government. This K30million belongs to Vanimo people “which Namah himself referred to as “Backyard harvest”. Do you think a stupid politician that earn peanuts from his fortnight..will give K30million from his business for election purposes…total “psychotic statement” by Belden.

    4. Investigate Don Polye for K100million that went he on spending spee in his electorate,giving free cash handouts especially to his Tribe members..Like a confused Santa Claus delivering all free christmass “candy’s” to kids on mid-year.

    5. Finally, investigate Mekere Morauta for resigning without good reason on the “eve” of 2012 election. He left politics in a hurry with some unfinish tasks like MVIL investigation which he was vocal about and destabilisation of Petromin &IPBC. He is so terrified to come back after the election because he must have stolen millions from these institutions which he was “preaching’ about in 9 months. And invest those millions into business firms back in his wife’s country (Australia), So, he can resign, relex, sitback and enjoy those PNG public monies.

    IF WE SERIOUS ABOUT CORRUPTION THAN PLEASE DONT FORGET TO DO CHECK AND BALANCES FOR THIS PEOPLE AS WELL…

  6. PK
    May 12, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Menkee, you speak with a lot of passion and emotion for the Good of the country. In another breath you are all so pessimistic that every elected leader once they get into Parliament will be become evil, culpable, horrible, vulnerable and corrupt to buggery. What to do? WE can’t just keep harping and harking about a long litanity of misdeeds and crimes of politicians that we select and elect and send to Parliament in the first place. Politicians are ultimately accountable to the voters. In between elections we have institutions like the Ombudsman Commission, the Auditor-General, the Police, the Public Prosecutor and task forces that are set up intermittently when it suits the fancy and purpose of politicians.

    WE must have some hope – and one place and time and space that we can translate this hope into reality is at the the ballot box during elections in the time allowed for polling all over the country. There must be some realism with any optimism and pesimissm.

    Everything you have mentioned, everyone of the politicians you have named and pointed fingers at is right up the front and back alleys of the Ombudsman Commission. They come under the Leadership Code. The Leadership Code has delivered in the past when the Commission has taken its task seriously. The Police and Public Prosecutor have delivered admirably in the past in the field and in the court room when it has trained its personnel professionally.

    Corruption and crime thrives in situations and environments where oversight and accountabilty is poor. Where oversight bodies do not function. Where poltical interference becomes rampant.

    We cannot totally eradicate corruption but we can manage it. A good start is to contribute to the attrition of dishonest politicians by encouraging everyone everywhere to vote.

    How the country votes will determine where we end up. In the mean time you can send your litany of complaints to the Omb Commission – along with hard evidence, affidavits and witnesses.

  7. Menkee
    May 13, 2012 at 1:56 am

    Thanks for your comments PK… We are just simple ordinary PNGans surviving each day from little that we earn from our sweats.I hope our people will vote wishly and won’t cry again for services another 5 years down the line,after this 2012 election…Everyone who want to become leader, in the end of the day they all develop corrupt minds. We can find a wild dog, bring it home and tame it to became our pet..But human mind is one of the greatest thing in which we cannot tame, it is beyond our physical assessment…it is so hard to comprehend how human minds work-from “good” at a humble beganing to “worse” when we possesed power.

    One sad thing about us PNGans is that we think that bringing development is throwing money everywhere we go, organised gatherings and delivery endless speeches. But we turn to forget what we just told the crowds…the moment we leave, weaving unnecessary “goodbyes” to them. What PNG need now is people who are critical thinkers. Those representitives who can tame their own mind (self-mind discipline).But unfortunately not all PNGans have this quality only a hand full and thus, its is very hard for us to identify them.

    Also systems and institutions set up since independence to prosecute MPs are all politicalized,.meaning that they are no longer working independently and providing effective quality service up to the required standard as before. They have political strings attached to it. For example, Police force,. IF we really need to weed corruption, exposed every individuals, regardless of their status and how many offices he/she holds in the country. Whether he is Prime Minister or Speaker. We need tough institutions and very effectives laws to prosecute MPs, if it means to issue them LIFE SENTENCE and DEATH PENALTY. So be it. Because public office and government is not belong to individuals that have corrupt minds but belongs to society has a whole.

    We dont need hard evidence, affidavits and witnesses…because Judicary is already compromise…and O’Namah MPs first time in the history of this country, are starting to issueing orders for police to arrest other MPs (eg. Hon. Luther Wenge & Dame Cerol Kidu) and ordinary hard working citizens. O’Namah Goverment are doing this right now without going to proper institutions and following legal processes. And police are now employed as private security guards terrorizing simple helpless ordinary citizens in the name of crime, yet they are harboring high quality criminals. The only HARD evidence, affidavits and witnesses, is you, me and the good people of PNG. Just by looking at the O’Namah what they are doing..The O’Namah people are jumping up and down (sleepless night), flying here and there giving millions, holding party conventions, unnecessary parliament sessions one atfter the another-event though it pass the due date. They know the “clock is ticking”the final hour of their corrupt political redemption is coming to an END.. We must use our conscious mind, the God given-sense,to analyse people minds (not free handouts, free policies and sweet talks). Do not depend on Sam Koim & Co it was not constitutionally created, no ACT to govern it. It will go with the O’Namah. The Task Force Sweep will not exsits after 2012 election, when a new gvernment forms. The institution will be “bury alive” with “short lived” O’Namah government when Papua New Guinea goes to poll in June.

  8. PK
    May 13, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    Oh Menkee! If only we had more conscientious citizens like you; if only what you are saying could be proved to the ethical/moral standards of the Leadership Code and to proof beyond reasonable doubt as is the case with criminal misdemeanours; if only it were so easy to have access and retrieve the physical and forensic evidence by any number of the inquisitorial bodies such as the Ombudsman Commission, Auditor-General, etc. that we have; if only local banks and overseas authorities can co-operate by pointing in the direction of where ill-gotten gains may be stashed away abroad; if only Aussie Governments and authorities can review their privacy laws regarding flight of money from PNG into banks and investments by leaders and authorities like MVIL as has been so stark from recent publicity by local papers; and wow, if only the voters vote with their hearts and not just with their heads we may get down the path of a PNG that we all envisage.

    BUT it is not easy. We are addressing the symptoms of much deeper, underlying issues of accountability, of governance, of personal responsibilities each of us has as a citizen. Yumi just sigirapim antap but real problem hem still aninit na insaet.

    You will help oversight bodies and authorities like Omb Comm if you can package all these allegations against the leaders you have named and hand it to them. Otherwise we will keep repeating ourselves saying the same things until the bulumakaus come home.

    There is always a hope at elections every five years to think that voters can make a difference at the front end, before vying candidates get their heads and torsos into Parliament, by voters being very acutely selective and voting with a purpose.

    I don’t agree with you that all MPs are corrupt. It is rather irresponsible to tarnish every MP with the same brush and the same coat of paint.

    The talk-back program on Kalang FM can do a lot more for voter education and shaping public opinion. The way it is run now is wishy-washy with everyone expressing their opinion that does not really amount to any outcome. Instead all the talk and angst just dissipates into thin air at the end of each day’s program. Roger Hau’ofa and Kalang FM is providing a service which has unfortunately become a talkfest and drivel against politicians. We might not like them or love them but we happily elect them into office. These raging fest-talks on the airwaves even go to the extent of questioning the legitimacy of Parliament without making any distinction and differentiation that MPs can be voted in and out by you and I but Parliament as an institution will always remain.

    It’ll be interesting to watch Stewart Neggint’z program on EM-TV on elections when it starts when polling begins. Stewart is a very credible broadcast journalist and researches his programs thoroughly. He puts a lot of effort into what he produces and is passionate in how he delivers. If Kalang talk-back approaches its daily program with the same purpose, gusto and research with at least some purposeful end in mind, it will be of immense benefit to those you refer to as …”simple ordinary PNGns surviving each day from little that we earn from our sweats”. But may be the Karai Pidgin Service and Kundu TV should buy into this. This seemingly simple ordinariness in people as you say may not be so ordinary as you might think. They can make a real difference if they can cast their three votes responsibly with an end in mind towards selecting and electing leadership that will act, talk and do things for the Public Good.

    Toktok hemi naf finis. Yumi go duim samting bai hem mekim change. THe numbers are in the rural areas. PNG is not a country of cities and towns, we are a country of hundreds of villages and hamlets (though the more illegal Chinese immigrants flock in, the more our suburbia will look and smell like any Asian city).

    So the real numbers, the significant forces for change are in the rural communities and villages. The politicians are very smart because this is where they throw their money at the end of every 5 year term. But DSIP is legit except that some MPs stash the cash up from year 1 to 4 and go on a spending and handing-out spree of projects, cars, boats, vehicles, etc. during the last year, just on the eve of the elections. A lot of smart MPs do their planning, programming and disbursements spread over their 5 year term. Despite this, we all know the attrition rate in the elections where the turn-over is up to 55-60%.

    WE must still have hope, optimism and fate that one day (hopefully sooner than later) we will get it right and do the right thing by the People, the Country and perhaps throw in the Creator into the equation as well.
    Anarchy must never be an option. This country is too preciously rich and beautiful and its People quite innocent to throw to the hounds and dogs!

  9. Kirk Rilas
    May 31, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Sadly, it only happens in PNG where three most influential people in politics and government are colourful characters, a PM who is wanted for NPF fraud, DPM a convicted criminal for committing treason in trying to overthrow Chan’s government during Sandline crisis and Speaker also another convicted criminal who did time in prison. This must surely go down in the Guiness Book of Records for having PNG’s very own Triad. Kirk

  10. Sam Holi
    July 4, 2012 at 11:55 am

    Ha, ha, ha! Are you dead PNG Exposed? I know who you are! Rot in peace!

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