Judge: Whistle-blowers act needed

The country needs a whistle- blowers act which will protect people who alert those in authority when things are not done right says National Court Judge, Martin Ipang.

Justice Ipang made these remarks in court on Friday when sentencing Western Governor Ati Wobiro, former Western Provincial Administrator Dr Modowa Gumoi, and Fly Care Foundation Inc. boss Norman Carl May to 10 years in prison.

He said certain individuals in the Western Province were not happy with the MOA which was led to Fly Care Foundation Inc being the caretaker administrator of development projects in the province.

Complaints were made to late Member for South Fly Open and Deputy Speaker Aide Ganasi and others which found its way to Police conducting investigations which led to the arrest and now imprisonment of Governor Wobiro, Dr Gumoi and May.

“We don’t need this to be happening, Public Servants coming to report what is happening,”

He said based from observations, lessons can be learnt from this case and persons in positions of trust must be groomed well when it comes to the use of public funds.

Justice Ipang said due process must be complied with and new policies must be well understood to be implemented.

“When confused, proper consultation needs to take place prior to implementing policies like Private Partnerships,” he said.

 He went on to say that such agreements should have been signed by the provincial government Provincial Supply and Tenders Board and not the governor.

The three were convicted on July 26 for misappropriating over K7m. They were also found guilty for conspiring to defraud the state of K7,060,000.

For misappropriating K7,060,000, Justice Ipang sentenced them to 25 years in prison. However, due to restitution of K373,971.68 being paid, the court suspended 15 years, leaving them to serve a remaining term of 10 years.

For their part in conspiring to defraud the state of K7,060,000, they were sentenced to four years.

Both imprisonment terms will be served concurrently, meaning they will now serve a total of 10 years.

A bail application was filed before the Supreme Court which will he heard on Wednesday at 1:30pm.


Sally Pokiton