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Be wary of ‘gifts’ so close to election time

Commentary by PETER S. KINJAP

PNG politicians have a tendency to dish out cash from the PSIP/DSIP to civil society organisations, community based associations, schools, aid posts and churches.
These “political gifts” are legally binded and protected from misuse by Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) so long as they are public money and from the public purse.
Regardless of how much money it is, there is a law in place to cover and protect how and where this public money is spend.

Knowingly or without, since the money becomes disposable at their discretion, politicians turned to find any means and ways to direct it to their personal benefit or to gain voter support in elections.
One of the avenues many politicians sending out money is through the civil society organisations, community based associations, schools, aid posts and churches.
Again politicians send the money for two reasons: 1) for their personal interest and benefits, 2) to gain voter support popularity in the elections.

This is happening throughout the country in the districts and provinces. This is corruption finding its way to be accepted by people and compromise with it. This must be stopped.
The PFMA says every public money follows the government institutionalised procedures in acquittal.
So when it is donated to entities other than government, it is already illegal and breaching of PFMA.
My point is that we are going towards election time now and politicians are looking for avenues to secure support and votes through organised community groups such as associations so my argument was that they should not be seen along with associations, churches or schools dishing out cash.
Those hard working community-based organisations must not fall prey to the cunning ideas of the politicians by accepting cash dish out in the name of service delivery.
By this I am not against any good work by community-based associations, civil society organisations, churches, schools and others.
I am supporting the work of associations and in particular calling on them to distance themselves from politicians.

MPs or governors have the government institutions to dish out money for service delivery and not through associations, churches or schools.
By PFMA, such is illegal and a corrupt practice.
It simply indicates that those politicians does not have trust in the government system they have been voted to represent or they  do not have a vision to build up the capacity of the government institutions and channel services through the established government system.
We cannot sit back, watch and allow such politicians to continue tampering the systems and confuse voters. We need to stand up and fight for our rights.
Corruption involves two people or more.
If you say no to support or compromise with corruption, you are already acting positively on the way to stop the entire network of corruption.
Say no to corruption and vote wisely this election.

Peter S Kinjap
Tambul-Nebilyer, WHP
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