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PNG Planning Minister Rainbo Paita Resigns after his Rifle Discharging video goes viral

Papua New Guinea Minister for National Planning and Monitoring has announced his resignation from his ministerial portfolio after a video he was engaged in discharging a rifle went viral on the internet. 

The Minister released the following statement. 

 I, Honourable Rainbo Paita, MP, Minister for National Planning and Monitoring wish to announce to the general public that I am stepping aside from my ministerial portfolio forthwith.

 This comes after a video was circulated on social media as well as the mainstream media of me discharging a rifle.

After learning from Post Courier’s front-page report on the 13th of December 2021 of the incident, I wrote to the Prime Minister advising him of my intention to step aside and allow a thorough investigation without fear or favour by the concerned authorities in the spirit of good leadership. 

I also wish to inform the public that my official vehicle was shot upon by criminal elements at Waigani in September 2021, which was reported to the Police hierarchy. This incident has prompted me to take necessary precautionary measures to protect myself. 

 As such, I was advised by my Close Protection Officer (CPO), who is also a certified trainer, of the need for me to acquire basic rifle handling skills. This is so that in the event that we were attacked and my CPO is critically wounded, I would be able to use my CPO’s rifle in self-defence. 

I want to put on record that I have a firearm licence. I also want to put on record that the video footage was of a private training session between me and my close protection officer (CPO) on a private property outside of Port Moresby. I did not discharge the firearm into a crowed place to cause public disorder nor jeopardise public safety.

However, due to the many concerns raised since the video has surfaced in the public domain, as a Senior State Minister in the PANGU led Government, I welcome the police investigation into any unlawful conduct. I take responsibility of my actions and do not wish to bring disrepute to the Government and the Ministry of National Planning and Monitoring.

PNG National Planning and Monitoring Minister Rainbo Paita [Parliament Photo]

Therefore, to preserve the integrity of the office that I occupy, I am stepping aside from my Ministerial Portfolio as the Minister for National Planning and Monitoring forthwith, until the investigation is completed.  

I sincerely apologise to the people of Papua New Guinea, our Development Partners, Investors and my beloved people of Finschhafen for any embarrassment that I may have unintentionally caused.  

I thank Prime Minister for his wisdom in respecting my decision. Against most advices, I wish to step aside in the public interest of allowing  police to investigate any intention or motivate of criminality. 

I apologize to my people of Finschaffen, Morobe and the people of Papua New Guinea. 

God bless our efforts to serve our People. 

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