Patel says accusations by people with vested interest

Chairman of Telikom PNG, Mahesh Patel, says the accusations and allegations raised against him and the Telikom Board is the work of people with vested interest.

He said this in response to demands for his removal as Board Chairman by the Communication Workers Union (PNG CWU) amid serious conflict of interest accusations and allegations.

The claims have also been the subject of debate in social media following the publication of the allegations by bloggers.

The PNG CWU on Monday during a sit-in protest also, called for the removal of John Mangos as Managing Director of Kumul Telikom, and for the merger between Telikom, Bemobile and DataCo to be stopped.

In an interview with Loop PNG  Patel labeled the claims as misconceptions and that it was very frustrating when there is in place a channels of communication for information to flow from top to bottom.

“We have a regular town-hall meeting to brief people. And we can brief them as much as we know. So the briefing has been happening. People have taken things out of context and people have really looked at their own personal agendas rather  than the corporate agenda,” said Patel.

“So as far as information draw down from top to bottom, its been very transparent. I advocate that, because in the private sector that’s what we have, an open door policy.

He added “I’ve even created an email ID for people to say, ‘listen instead of making judgments or instead of making conclusions ask me the question and I will tell you honestly what it is. What have I got to hide. It’s a public company.’ So information flow is there openly.

“But I think there’s vested interest in people. I don’t know who or where it emanates from and they’ve made wrong accusations in the media, which is sad, but that just happens,” Patel said.

He says he still encourages those who wish to speak to him to find out more about the Governments restructure of its telecommunications entities.

“I’m not going to keep trying to correct the blogs and the social media and facebook, because I’ll spend half my day correcting all the mistakes.

“People have to grow up and if they’ve got questions, have an open forum.  Even till date I encourage people to come and talk to us. If you have a query come and ask us, because we are all in it together.”

Meanwhile Patel will assume the Chairmanship of the Kumul Telikom Board and will be joined by former board members from Telikom PNG, Bemobile, and DataCo.

The Directors of the Board include include Cedric Rondoke, Kili Tambua, Avia Koisen, Andrew Johnston.

They will be joined by the Managing Director of Kumul Telikom which is yet to be announced.

Yesterday, Minister for National Planning and Acting Minister for Public Investment and State Enterprise, Charles Abel, announced that the National Executive Council (NEC) rescinded its decision to appoint John Mangos as Managing Director of Kumul Telikom.

Abel said “a transition team headed by current CEO for Telikom PNG Michael Donnelly, will oversee and ensure the successful amalgamation of the three entities."

Cedric Patjole