New acting police commissioner

David Manning is now the new acting Commissioner of the Royal PNG Constabulary.

This follows a National Executive Council decision to revoke the acting appointment of Francis Tokura.

Police Minister Bryan Kramer said the National Executive Council made the decision on the night of September 2nd to reinstate Francis Tokura to his substantive position as the deputy commissioner of police in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville as well as the chief of Bougainville Police Service.

That decision was made after much consideration on issues regarding command and control, administrative and structural challenges currently facing the constabulary and of course, the upcoming Bougainville referendum, which is a mere two months away.

After Tokura’s appointment as acting police commissioner in July, Minister Kramer said it became clear that the Bougainville referendum needed to be managed as a standalone matter, and it would be unfair to burden Tokura with national as well as Bougainville matters.

“So I took into consideration the concerns raised by Members of Parliament from Bougainville and a submission was made to NEC, and NEC, late last evening, after considering the arguments, made the decision. I am only the minister, in the NEC there are 33 members and they must make that decision collectively.”

The former acting Deputy Police Commissioner – Operations, David Manning, has been appointed as acting commissioner, while the assistant commissioner for police for NCD and Central, Donald Yamasombi, will occupy Manning’s former post.

Tokura, on the other hand, did not take the news well. In a press conference this morning, he described his removal as highly questionable, suspicious and without merit.

Tokura’s acting appointment was for a three-month period. He questioned why the change was made when it would be more logical to wait for the three months to lapse.

“I’m pretty sure that if this change comes in at this point in time, it might create instability in the organisation,” he said.

“We have a job to do in maintaining law and order in the country. All I’m asking of the Police Minister is to let me run the organisation with the senior police officers, and concentrate on the policy issues affecting the organisation.”

Tokura further asked Cabinet to rescind the decision and wait until the process of appointing a permanent commissioner, is complete.

(From left: Acting police commissioner, David Manning, Police Minister Bryan Kramer and acting Deputy Police Commissioner – Operations, Donald Yamasombi)

Carmella Gware