Stay away from political impasse, Guinness warns

Northern Divisional Commander Peter Guinness has called on all police personnel in Eastern Highlands to work together as a unit for the betterment of policing in the province.

He said the recent Eastern Highlands Provincial Government top post has split members within and that is unhealthy for policing in the province.

"The recent provincial administrator position saga has divided police in Eastern Highlands.

"And this is the first time in the history of policing in the province that such has happened. And as the commander of the Northern Command, it has really destroyed the image of the Constabulary and I am not happy with it," he said.

Guinness was in Goroka during the week to have an audience with the senior police officers and section heads and wanted them to restore some pride and confidence in their profession.

He said there is no rule and divide in policing and they need to work together as a unit.

Guinness, who is also the Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), said they must bury their past and unite to police the province.

He said there is only one commander and that is the PPC who reports to him and no one else; the protocol remains that way. They must think about their spouses and siblings when they are engaged in such situations because it can cost them their jobs as well.

It is a disciplinary organisation they are working for and must always be wary about their conduct, Guinness stated.

The Eastern Highlands Provincial Government provincial administrator's appointment has created an impasse within police in Goroka.

Guinness told the leaders that whatever is happening at Yanepa Building is a political issue and he doesn't want to see or hear that police are involved.

"This is my first and last trip to Goroka on this issue. You are to inform your subordinates to stay away from the impasse," he said.

Police Commander Superintendent Alex N’drasal said the impasse has indeed tried to create two factions but those were a group of minority who were doing that. They are intact and loyal to their job.

Meanwhile, ACP Guinness said an investigative team is now in Goroka to look into the commotion between themselves.

Guinness also took the opportunity to meet Governor Julie Soso, Police Minister and Henganofi MP Robert Atiyafa and acting Provincial Administrator Solomon Tato.

He told the provincial leaders not to interfere with police functions and responsibilities.

This occurred while police were trying to serve an ex-officio indictment on Tato early this month.

The terms of reference of that investigation would include, among others, the shooting and wounding of a Tato supporter at Kainantu.

A report will be sent to his office in two weeks’ time.

(Governor Julie Soso and ACP Peter Guinness at Goroka Lodge, Eastern Highlands Province.)

Bustin Anzu