United Resources Party at the centre of Manumanu land scandal: former and current leader implicated
Yesterday Peter O’Neill announced a Commission of Inquiry would be launched into the Manumanu land deal. We can welcome this move, without celebrating its author.
O’Neill has had numerous opportunities in the past to investigate major land frauds, yet has done nothing. NHC residents, warned O’Neill the public housing estate was being sold off on mass, and the proceeds were being pocketed by politicians and private developers. O’Neill promised action but nothing was done, and the NHC continues to be mired in corruption and fraud.
When Dame Carol Kidu warned the Prime Minister about major corrupt dealings behind the Paga Hill Estate – before she shifted sides following a A$178,000 consultancy payment – much was promised about investigating the project being pushed by Gudmundur Fridriksson (and it appears William Duma), but nothing was done.
So it would seem fair to ask, why the change in posture?
Lets look at the key suspects in the case. William Duma, and Fabian Pok have been at the centre of this scandal. Yesterday O’Neill revealed a new suspect. The owner of Portion 698, Kitoro No.64 Limited, who was paid K15.4 million for their state lease, after the Defence Department reclaimed the land.
It can be revealed that the owner of this company is Tim Neville, former United Resources Party Leader.
So at the moment we have three suspects, who are all linked to the United Resources Party.
Important questions emerge.
We know that O’Neill presides over a government of robber-barons. They do not operate, however, as a cohesive unit. Instead they divide up the government into territory, which different groups assume responsibility for and abuse for personal financial gain.
It appears from the evidence being presented the lucrative black market in land has been heavily exploited by United Resources Party heavyweights.
Which raises the question. Is this turf wars between different factions within government over lucrative corrupt industries?
Or are we seeing tensions within Cabinet now exploding, as O’Neill attempts to soil rivals in the lead up to the election?
We can only speculate.
Either way, this should not diminish support for a thorough investigation of this land fraud. There is a thriving black market in land and its impact on the nation is devastating.
But why stop at Manumanu – isn’t it time to prosecute all those involved in the abuse of state leases, whether they be sweetheart 99 year business leases given to political cronies for nothing rents, or SABLs acquired by defrauding landowners?