Home > Corruption, Human rights, Land, Logging, Papua New Guinea > Corrupt logging interests attempt to overthrow reformist Governor

Corrupt logging interests attempt to overthrow reformist Governor

October 21, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments


By Gary Juffa – Papua New Guinea My Land My Country

As a vote of no confidence against Oro Governor, Gary Juffa, looms, he writes about the successes and challenges he faces against the old guard. 

gary juffaI was bemused and intrigued by the press release of 7 Presidents and Open Member David Arore proclaiming a vote of no confidence. I am glad. It gives me an opportunity to say what has been happening and what I have been doing. It also gives me an opportunity to gauge my peoples views and see where they stand. Whether they want change for the better or whether they want to continue to slip into the abyss of miserable anarchy and deteriorate as a people. Already the support is mounting and overwhelming. Tribesmen from all parts of Oro mobilized with the intent of demonstrating their outrage with violence. I stopped them all. This is not the way my people. Let us exhaust all legal means and let us not be shaken by the mere whimpering of a collection of sad people who claim they are leaders. They are not leaders. They are politicians. There is a fundamental difference.

So I sipped my black tea and watched semi interested as they aired their views. I had been monitoring these group since they came to Port Moresby some two weeks ago and were sighted drinking in the usual nightclubs and comfort lounges around Port Moresby. They were all at some little lodge in Boroko.

Intelligence is the end product of analysed information/data. I have a system to collect and collate and present such intelligence to me so I can make informed decisions. Our intelligence told us several things: that several weeks before the media stunt there were several meetings between certain Asian entities and the presidents and their open member. These Asians are heavily involved in the logging industry. Our informant was in their very midst. He sighted them and heard them discussing their plans. They would stop at nothing to log our forests. The recent suspension by the Forest Minister after we had furnished his office an investigation report based on complaints of our landowners in the Yema Gaipa Timber Permit Area where illegal logging had been occurring at day and night was yet another catalyst.

Further intelligence deduced that the recent actions in the last month by the Land Enforcement to travel to Collingwood Bay and impound Logging Machines and give notice to foreign workers illegally there to vacate that property in 7 days has added to the desire by the logging fraternity to see me removed. Imagine what would happen if everyone rose up behind me and removed them? That is a frightening thought. They MUST stop this and nip it in the bud before it gets out of hand. The people cannot be allowed to rise up and stand for their own rights they say to each other in between bales of illicit logging cash they make from our forests.

All this only added to growing anxiety that the illicit revenue stream of the pirates and their minions would come to an end…

Now add to this the recent Provincial Government reforms undertaken that have since seen the establishing of stringent controls to ensure transparent expenditure of public funds by all custodians including me. This has suddenly exposed the Two Open Members who have been using their Joint District Planning and Budget Prioritization Committees as procurement authorities…which is illegal…the laws do not allow that…the JDPBPC is merely a committee to prioritize the disbursement of DSIP funds. The process must come through the Administration for vetting, analysing, review and monitoring. I am pleased to see that we have changed the public service mindset in Oro and they are now well on track to deliver. I have asked that the Open Members MUST put their DSIP through this legitimate process as I am doing.

Meanwhile stringent efforts to tackle corruption continue. The great job undertaken by PPC Victor ISUOVE to analyse Auditor General Reports for the last so many years and act upon recommendations is well underway. PPC Jacob SINGURA has continued with this effort and so far, 11 public servants have been criminally charged. Others are yet to follow. The Ijivitari District Treasury closed by angry landowners for two weeks has had no less then 3/4 of their staff charged.

Most recently as of last month a Treasury Officer in the Provincial Government Treasury was charged for stealing K400,000 with her husband. More are yet to follow.

As for service delivery, the Province has not received its K10m Special Support Infrastructure Grants for this year though we have been promised and I have former Treasury Don POLYE making that commitment on video. I have been advised it is put to next year. We have also not received the balance of K3m for disaster relief which we wanted to build a Disaster Management Centre. I am informed next year as well. We have also not received the K10m promised to help with our Tourism Industry. I am assured it is in next years budget. 3/4 of my PSIP is now about to be expended as we now have the Provincial Supplies and Tenders Board in place and the first meeting is this week. Prior to that leaders and Administration were illegally issuing COIs – Certificates of Inexpediency – which are only for disaster periods and sanctioned by the NEC and allows circumventing of proper procurement processes and procedures stipulated by the Finance Management Act.

Despite this, we have established a Health Authority (thanks kakana Micheal Malabag) and have taken our Health from 4 Doctors to 18 Doctors (thanks Dr. Gunzee Gawin – my adopted Hunjara tribesman). In partnership with YWAM and Dr Alice Lee we have immunized more then 3000 children, removed countless cataracts and fixed countless dental issues in remote areas never before seen. Tribal Foundation is sending a 40ft container of hospital equipment from Australia and our own efforts will see another 40ft from Brisbane (thanks brother Simon Simon P Merton who is single handedly doing something for his beloved mother Felicity Juffa’s people) with school and hospital equipment. We have also partnered with the SDA Church and ANGLICAN Churches in sponsoring their programs when and where we can. Saiho Hospital is refurbished an operational in Kaiva area serving 50,000 people.

A real winner is the establishment of the Disaster Management Centre and many, many thanks goes to Trevor Magei and Donald Moi for their contribution here. We now have a Provincial Disaster Management Policy and a Provincial Disaster Management Centre will be built. More importantly, we are able to respond in 24 hours and the Disaster Management Team has saved countless lives already. Thanks guys.Law and Order is manageable. We are building Police houses and the patrol post

at Saiho and the Police are working tirelessly and with great enthusiasm. Prior to coming in, Popondetta was a township of 1 murder per month at the least with the tag of Cowboy Kantri. That is no more. Nights are peaceful and women and children can rest and go about their daily duties in peace without drunkard partying into the early hours as was normal.
Economic progress will see Oro take charge of their own resources and destiny. I will remain tight lipped here until I deliver. I have 3 years and I will deliver the economic independence my people have lacked. Agriculture and tourism will be the backbone.

I can’t list everything we have done. It is too long a list. My mistake was not promoting my efforts. I will do more. I write my own media and press releases and it is exhausting when one is trying to do much.

Finally, our four bridges worth K135m are being built. It took seven long years. No one followed up or did anything. I took 6 months to walk every process through until the contracts were finally signed at Government House and Canstruct Ltd a Australian Company was selected. They are now on the ground. They are busy building the bridges that were washed away in 2007 by floods caused by Cyclone Guba. They will save more lives.

Intelligence is necessary for gauging what is going on and acting accordingly.

I am informed that my efforts are touching many people who have fed on a corrupt system for too long…there is light at the end of the tunnel…


  1. Bill Toraso
    October 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    God will bless you, a newborn child can not walk or eat solid food, you are human and you are now in the learning process and ofcourse you will show your full potential in the next term. You are a light in the darkness for the people of Oro and people with vested interest want to put off that light so that they can carry on with the thiefing of th treasury, the natural resources etc.You are on track,God will bless and guide you all the way for his people of ORO. Bill Staight

  2. October 21, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    I wish to congratulate Oro Governor Gary Juffa for the right steps taken to address what it seems a cronic corruption practices in the Northern Province of Ppaua New Guinea….My interligent also tells me, such practices have been going on for the last 39 years and now we have to change those traces and trends..and to do that is about restructuring all provincial governing mecanisms and put people who can act to put a stop to these practices..
    Its only people that are at fault either be public servants or so called land owners..human can mend or break the frontiers and you have done a tremendous job in a short while being the Governor of Oro..The concious and interlectual population is watching individual and fresh politicians who are doing the opposite of the cronic system that everyone has been benefiting from since Independance..Gary you are not wrong..Please the people of Oro can not support you than the whole PNG will be at your back because this issue is not only Oro,s..its a nationwide cronic system and assocications trying their last taste before the country is in the hands of young and capable leaders for a change and for the better…Good Job and Keep it Up Governor Gary Juffa…

  3. Carl Kuira
    October 22, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Mr Governor.
    The People have suffered too long at the hands of Self Centred Politicians, dirty investors and their cohorts . They need Political leaders with your character and leadership style. You are doing the right thing.

    This is our country, we must stand up for our silent majorities and get rid of those traitors who put self and foreign interest before communal interest. To clean a Mess you will get your hands dirty……yet….the people themselves will wash the dirt from your hands come 2017….Justice supports you….Goodness will travel with you until Success meets you in the end.

    Full support to you.

  4. October 23, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Oro needs a change in the status quo and it’s changing with Governor Juffa in the driver’s seat. Those resisting this change are people whose comfort zone, supported by corruption and greed, is now getting dismantled. With the people behind you, Governor, just get on with it.

  5. Jackson Endo
    October 23, 2014 at 4:59 am

    I am Jackson Endo, the current mayor of Kimbe Town now being dismissed from office by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Inter Government Leo Dion on June 26th, 2014 based on some unjustified claims raised against me by my political rivals in which the minister had oversighted in my response to him earlier. However, my dismissal is now been challenged in court as a matter of judicial review.I’d like to share some similar experience with the great Governor of Oro Gary Juffa. I was elected as Kimbe Mayor in December 2012 in a bye election and my first tasking was trying to identify and correct the problems been faced by the Town LLG. Secondly, I had requested the provinvial administration to conduct an internal audit on all LLG Books and the outcome revealed that there was mismanagement and fraud created by certain individuals. Apart from that I took bold stand against slack and corrupt officers within the Provincial Administration as well as those people who are closer to them in their corrupt deals in defrauding the state in whatever capacity they hold. Having in office for just a year there was again another round of LLG election and a good number of those who are my real rivals formed an alley to stand against me and were having high hopes to detrone me but their mission failed. They thought that I must loose my seat so that they can easily get away from their sins leaving unattended to because they knew very well that I am the only person to persue their case further. I was then re-elected in July, 20I3 was trying to persue the cases of those rival minorities with self interest to the authorities for possible action to be taken on them.Thus, in the eve of doing so I got cut off from my end ending my political career just because we are trying to serve and protect the silent majority for their common good. My Governor, the same scenerio applies to you and I know you are more smarter than those ones who are making alot of noise on the media. I heard one of them saying the provincial government building off Oro is covered with grasses. The kind of comment is very cheap for a leader to make and it shows clearly that their eyes fall short of what reality Garry Juffah was doing for Oro. Juffah is a real hero and a real servant of his people. God will always be on your side because he had chosen you through the secret ballot to become the Governor by silent majority.

  6. mike kaka
    October 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    Well done Governor.
    On another note, why are you very silent on the corruption and mismanagement of the country by Peter O Neil and his one party government. Are you silent because you don’t have the guts to fight for silent majority, including your own Oro people?

    October 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

    Governor Guffa, I have been following our up comming national elites in the passion of a better future for our ordinary people, to start the process and structures in liberating our people from the norms of social and economic disorder daily. SHP, the home to LNG, the majority of my own poeple are still in the bondage of poverty. Governor Guffa, I have been following you since you were the Execuitve Manager of PNG Customs & Ports Cooperation . I saw something in you and have you as role model in many of job routine gattering and meetings talks, the TRUTH in YOU will prevail regardless of all evil around us. I have some other fellow Papua New Guineas, who I have under surveillance since 1998 where I cannot write their names on this wall will join you in one SPIRIT…….KUPA WILLIAM TOM, MENDI, SHP

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