Former MP blamed for Gembogl violence

The Kundiawa-Gembogl District Development Authority board members have condemned the action of individuals who burnt public and private property at Gembogl station on Saturday.

Disgruntled elements damaged properties during an electorate wide peace reconciliation program.

Chairman William Gogl Onguglo claims the destruction was carried out by supporters of the former Member for Kundiawa-Gembogl.

“What was more irresponsible was the burning of public properties, paid for by public funds for the people of the electorate.

“Peace reconciliation is the only way to bring development to our communities. It is the only way we as an electorate can work and walk together to bring tangible development to our people and such unruly behaviour from supporters of a particularly learnt person is shameful.” 

Onguglo says following a successful court victory in October, he wasted no time in launching his electorate’s Five Year Development Plan in Goglme, Nilkande Local Level Government and was officiated by His Excellency Kang Kym Gu, the Ambassador for Republic of Korea.

As a lead up to implementing the plan and programs of the electorate, the Kundiawa-Gembogl District Development Authority wanted to ensure there was total peace to cushion development and had been conducting peace reconciliation programs for the district.

Peace programs in Kundiawa Urban, Waiye and Nilkande LLGs were successful except for Mitnande LLG in Gembogl.

John Gene, community leader of Denglaku Clan of Mitnande LLG, also condemned the action of the supporters of the former member.

“I was looking forward to the peace reconciliation program so I can move my 200-plus people displaced by trouble started by the former MP Tobias Kulang. My people were living in Kundiawa, Goroka, Lae and Madang or scattered everywhere and look at what they are doing to us again now,” says Gene.

However, Kulang has categorically denied any involvement in the burning down of vehicles of sitting MP, William Onguglo, and the escalated violence at Gembogl Station.

Kulang said he was in Port Moresby minding his own private affairs when the incident took place, adding he was never invited to the claimed peace ceremony.

He said following his election petition coming to an end in August 2018, he has moved on and has no further interest in politics.

Instead, he says the incident was a result of a very bad judgement on the part of the sitting MP and his District Administration in respect of the sensitivity on the ground.

Cedric Patjole