Bougainville Special Correspondent
There are fresh allegations leaking from within disgruntled ABG ranks that mining giant Bougainville Copper Limited is paying off members in the Autonomous Government of Bougainville House to ‘vote for’ the Transitional Mining Bill which is to be tabled in parliament at the end of the month of March.
From very reliable sources within ABG, whose names are withheld, the mining company is getting desperate and is pushing the president to bring forward tabling of the controversial bill, which will be the third and final reading if it gets through. Indicated also is:
“So far, all CoE chairmen have received their payments which have been funded by the company (BCL). Now the members (ABG) will be receiving theirs, the amount is seventy thousand kina for each member to vote for the Bill.”
The money that is alleged to be paid to the members of ABG is seven million kina (K7 000 000). The allegations may seem unfounded but the circumstances that surround it indicate otherwise. Being that so recently just before the issue of writs for the ABG Elections; the office of the president under the Department of President & Bougainville Executive Council approved a payment for “outstanding grants” and “final entitlements”. And this was confidential.
It was approved together with 2nd quarter support grants, development grants for 1st and 2nd quarter, outstanding payments and general administration for ministerial offices. And underneath the confidential document were the signatures of both the President Dr. John Momis and Secretary Kevin Marimyas.
The Bougainville Executive Council is also releasing monies for this year’s second quarter when the writs will be issued on Friday 27th March 2015 for the ABG Elections. This alone speaks volumes because by then members will not hold their seats and so why they are to be given the allocation at this time is a good question.
And peculiarly so, the progress into the ABG elections has seen a flood of money pumped into every prospective interest group, association and project that have never seen the hand of the government for the last four years. It is by far the most usual concept that is played by pollies throughout the world; it is no different in this region.
However, the rort in this case stems from the highest office, which thus far has proven its intentions in making the vision of Bougainville Company Limited a reality. The Bill itself is a controversy; this action thus proves nothing but desperation to implement outside interests as the alternative cost to people representation.