MICHIGAN, USA - In the 18 December issue of The National, prime minister James Marape put the kibosh on unauthorised foreign travel by ministers of state.
He made it clear that ministers must receive permission from himself through the chief secretary before they travel to Australia, the United States or China.
In the article Marape stated that unauthorised overseas travel “is tantamount to abuse of office”, asserting that “this blatant abuse of ministerial office must cease forthwith.”
In the same vein, the Leadership Tribunal investigating Maprik MP John Simon is moving forward. According to The National of 3 October, Simon is accused of allocating district services improvement program (DSIP) funds of K226,000 to the Extreme Car Hires company between August 2012 and January 2014.
Simon is the owner of Extreme Car Hires.
Additionally, he is charged with diverting K1.3 million of DSIP funds to Extreme Construction. You guessed it, also owned by Simon.
If proven at the Leadership Tribunal, it would be a clear example of, wait for it, extreme corruption….
Furthermore, Simon is further challenged on directing K90,000 of DSIP funds to Deborah Office and School Supply, owned by Mr Simon. And he’s also charged with channeling K48,000 of DSIP funds to his political supporters.
Please notice the common denominator - DSIP funds.
The failure of MPs to account for their use of these funds is nothing short of appalling. According to the Post Courier back in May 2017, just five of 106 districts accounted for the K10 million each had received.
Mr Marape, you’ve taken a good first step in reducing the 2020 DSIP allocation from K10 million to K8 million.
Now could you please make it abundantly clear to members of parliament that, if they do not fully account for that K8 million, the amount they will receive in 2021 will be reduced again, perhaps to K5 million.