WORKS Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Don Polye has halted development projects worth about K100 million in his Kandep electorate after a tribal fight claimed six lives and caused destruction to properties, The National reports.
In making the bold decision, the Minister is sending a clear message to his own people: change your ways or miss out on government services.
Of the six people killed in the fight, four were women who were chopped to death, something which angered Polye and prompted him to terminate the projects.
School children were also victims, with warriors burning down three newly constructed double classrooms.
Mr Polye said the fighting was not election related. It is two groups fighting after an argument over pandanus. He said both groups were his political supporters.
“This is absolutely unacceptable especially the killing of the women and the tribal fights is right in the middle of the Asian Development Bank funded road project,” he told reporters yesterday.
The two ADB funded road programmes totaling over K50 million terminated are the Kandep to Keapal road and Keapal to Laiagam road
Other district service improvement programmes for the district have also been suspended.
All the projects initiated in the electorate total about K100 million.
He said he had decided to terminate these projects until the people came to their senses.
The projects were halted after consultations with the ADB and the Works Department.
Mr Polye said other programmes that would be affected were the Kandep town road upgrading,
“I am challenging my people that if they want to see services continue they must make decision to stop tribal war.”
Mr Polye warned that he would not hesitate to do the same for areas where people continued to destroy and did not provide a conducive environment for development.
He said it was difficult to bring in these services and appealed to the people to take ownership of the law and order issues.
“We must change our attitude. We must make tough decisions to change a mindset. People who are hostile and do not appreciate services must lose it. I will not encourage work until my people come to their senses.”