Probe into missing Huonville funds

An investigation will be initiated to look into the missing Huonville Primary School funds.

In 2019, the Morobe Provincial Government paid K500,000 to the provincial works division to build new classrooms for the Huonville Primary School.

The provincial works division allegedly contracted a former politician’s son to carry out construction.

Two years later, the school is still following up on the promised classrooms.

Morobe provincial education program adviser, Keith Tangui, said the Provincial Education Board will initiate a probe into the missing funds.

“PEB will set the terms of reference and we will do investigation to find out exactly how the contract was awarded, the people involved in that and why the project didn’t take place,” he said. “Definitely we will get to the bottom of it.

“Provincial government will not just throw money into the fire. There must be something coming out of it.”

Tangui said the former head teacher, the former board of management and the contractor will be held liable.

The school’s current head teacher, Dairi Baru, in response said the K500,000 was never put into their account nor did they have any say on the awarding of the contract.

Baru said they were concerned when the contractor started building a foundation without properly draining the waterlogged site. Stressing that their students’ safety was important, they told the contractor to halt works and conduct a proper assessment of the soil condition.

That was the last they saw of the contractor while their follow-up calls fell on deaf ears.

Meantime, the head teacher applauded the completion of their new classroom building, courtesy of K1.2 million from the Lae district funding. 

He said the opening date is Friday, the 24th of September.

(The site where the K500,000 building was to be constructed)

Carmella Gware