Don Polye – A man of the people or a man for himself?

Last week, the Governor General of Papua New Guinea (On behalf of Her Majesty the Queen) awarded Treasurer  Hon Don Pomb Polye an order of St Michael and St George. The award was for services to the people of Kandep and PNG in general

In consideration of this honour, PNG Echo has compiled a three-part series examining the Minister’s services to the people of Kandep and PNG in general.

In this first part we look how well he is delivering services to his electorate.  In the second part we look at his record as a leader of his people and in the third we examine his national career.

Services to Kandep…

As I write, the Hon Treasurer, Don Pomb Polye, is visiting his electorate of Kandep where  celebrations are scheduled to welcome back Enga’s favourite son. Or is he?

Writes PNG Echo.

facebook_36048544 (Medium)It was told to PNG Echo that despite what his newly acquired award states, Don Polye has not given much service at all to the people of Kandep since he entered parliament.

…for the past 13+ years…there has been no tangible benefit to the people of Kandep.

An underwater road - or is it a bridge?
An underwater road – or is it a bridge?

The photographic evidence of the quality of the roads tends to underline that statement.

But it’s the ‘Wasa Bridge Project’ that stands as testimony to all that’s not right in Kandep which includes highlighting Polye’s improper handling of his relationship with the owner of construction company Kaystar Construction, Paul Kurai.

Kaystar Constructions was awarded contract No 22DSIP -01/2009 – Provincial Supply and Tendering Board (PTSB) No 1380 – Wasa Bridge.

I don’t know the estimated cost that was built into the contract by Kaystar but it has been mooted that “…the whole construction…would have cost about K1 million (including kick –backs!)”  That’s if it had been built at all – and I’m informed it hasn’t been

Wasa Bridge

The impropriety connected with the Wasa Bridge Project started with the awarding of the contract to Paul Kurai who has been called, by his detractors “…a pest with his K1 construction company….”  It continued with highly irregular payments

The swamp that the wasa Bridge must cross
The swamp that the Wasa Bridge must cross

For instance, in June 2010 (18 months after the contract was awarded), Kurai wrote to the Secretary, Department of Works stating that he would need an extra K12,780,838.01 to complete the project due to “…underscoping of the works.”

Two more invoices followed a few months later, one for K9,500,000 and another for K9,800,000 – that’s a whopping K31,080,838.01.


Is this the most expensive bridge in the World?

According to the documentation I have sighted – the company (Kaystar Constructions) was partially paid for the invoices they raised.

They received K11,040,544.56 in three separate payments, all on the same day – the largest was K7,000,000 which exceeded the amount that could be authorized by the PSTB by K1,000,000. It didn’t seem to matter and the sums were paid in what can only be described as ‘indecent haste to the contractor (three days) with scant regard to established procedures.

It’s safe to assume that these payments were in addition and supplementary to any payments already made – the quantum of which I am unaware.

Don Polye directed invoices be paid
Don Polye directed invoices be paid

According to a scribbled note on one of the invoices signed by Don Polye – “The balance of the invoice to be paid in due course when funds become available”

Polye himself approved the payment and instructed the monies come from the Transport “Trust Funds,” notwithstanding that invoices and correspondence were addressed to the Department of Works and that, conversely, the funding was supposed to come out of the Polye’s DSIP funds.

And what’s this then?

Wasa_Bridge_Budget (Medium)The PNG development budget gives an allocation of K5,000,000 to the Wasa Bridge in 2013, and a whopping K35,000,000 in the 2014 budget.

That makes the bridge’s cost, so far K71,080,831.01 (without considering anything expended on this project in 2009, 2011, 2012.)

The irony is, I’m told that the bridge is not built.

Incestuous relationships

The enormous cost of the non-bridge leads to questions over the propriety of Don Polye’s relationship with Paul Kurai – the contractor, especially considering Polye’s political links to Kurai.

As well as recently being elected unopposed at the LLG elections (Wabag) for the fourth consecutive time, Paul Kurai is the President of Don Polye’s T.H.E Party.

Paul Kurai (left) President of Don Polye's T.H.E party and recipient of lucrative government contracts facilitated by Polye (left)
Paul Kurai (left) President of Don Polye’s T.H.E party and recipient of lucrative government contracts facilitated by Polye (right)

Kurai stood as a candidate for the National Parliament in the 2012 government elections under the banner of the T.H.E Party.

When Polye was expelled by the National Alliance, Paul Kurai stood behind him as his champion.  He’s been described as a National Alliance former “strongman.”

Under the circumstance, this contract must be seen for what it surely is – ‘jobs for the boys’.

It’s like Groundhog Day (something that’s lived over and over)

The ‘Wasa Bridge’ contract has the ingredients and many of the hallmarks of other corrupt activities in PNG. They are:

  • Inappropriate interference and intervention by a high-ranking MP for a person very ‘close to’ that MP (like Eremas Wartoto and Paul Tiensten)
  • Inflated contract awarded to someone ill-equipped to carry out the works who often doesn’t bother.  (Wartoto again)
  • A ‘slush fund’ or money accessed from an account that’s not approved for the purpose.  (Findings of COI Finance)
  • Established procedures not followed – thus bypassing all the inherent checks and balances of the system. (COI Finance again)

I hope the Hon Minister is not planning to cross the Wasa bridge while in Kandep today, I’m informed it’s not there.

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22 thoughts on “Don Polye – A man of the people or a man for himself?

  1. I guess TFS aren’t interested. And passed a budget in DEFICIT……. Should be tried for high TREASON!!

  2. service delivery in Kandep for past 13 years was very very poor…How can Kandep leader (MP) be awarded with such awards when Kandep district has law and order problem..???How can a Kandep MP recieve such award when Kandep district has no proper district development plan..?? poor Kandep people are every now and then dying from curable diseases. No sign of investing in education, health and sustainable impact projects….

  3. Thanks for the article on Don Polye. In fact this is just one of many day light robberies by the guy and there is many more I can provide. This is also my first time to be in echo forum so pls advice whether I can provide additional informations without my identity being revealed? Pls advice ta

      • thanks so much for revealing these corrupt practices. May almighty God will protect you and give you wishdom to uncover more of this,,

        • Susan,
          Well done.
          You’ve done a terrific job in compiling this report which is very useful for the public.
          Is someone going to act on this or not?? Why is the Ombudsman Commission very quiet on these issues/conducts by our leaders?? What is the purpose of OC?? OC need to do something about this….investigate such questionable people and bring them to justice if sufficient evidence is obtained!! How can such corrupt people still be called leaders!! IMF should re-think of its chairman ??? The so called “queens award” or honours in PNG is a joke and pathetic!!

    • Thanks Joshua, keep up the good work on exposing all corrupt dealings of our Leaders. Instead of serving their people they are stealing from them . this has got to stop! This country needs more people like you who will speak the truth for the love of their country. I encourage to speak out against this plague of corruption that is bringing this country backwards instead of forwards. May the Lord Almighty bless you.

  4. Can the Task Force Sweep get onto this case.There appears to be blatant stealing of public funds, on the Paraka Lawyers type scale. Officers involved in authorizing this continuous approval of these corrupt diversion of funds need to be exposed publicly and brought to justice as well as their political masters. The last thing this country needs is self serving greedy politicians with their corrupt army of department and bank officials..

  5. I’m so socked…
    interesting revelation of corrupt politicians. Please post it on the social media..Sharp Talk

  6. why is this happening ?/? are there authorities to check and balance, can’t he be referred to Task Force Sweet Team? his crime is no different to Paul Tiensten,,,,,I wish heaven will shower him and Paul Kurai one day,,,,God bless Kandep and PNG.

  7. WHERE IS SAM KOIM and the Task force Sweep.?
    Or are they just a tool of the government of the DAY…
    Shame Shame on Mr Polye….
    I wonder if the WORLD BANK did any back ground check on him before they awarded him the Chairman….

  8. and then there is the money meant for building schools that his companies have recieved payment for……..what no schools? how odd!

  9. I feel disgusted reading this article exposing Don Poyle. This brings his whole reputation into question. There tends to be a trend where once someone is elected into Parliament, they begin to lie and steal until it becomes second nature. My heart goes out to the multitude of people who are missing out on basic services such as clinics, health centers, schools, water supply, bridges etc.
    Question is why are funds channeled to only a few people to get rich and become millionaires overnight at the cost to the wider community and population. Are they more important than the community? These thieves ought not to be leaders, they are fraudsters and schemers. It is despicable…………..

  10. Do they have any heart at all? Stealing people’s money and no sense of guilt? Shame on you Don Polye, You dont deserve any title at all

  11. What a shame,THATS TRUE.The bridge is not yet built.please let all papua new guinea know.”social media please.” A LION IN A SHEEP COAT….why awarded.

  12. I don’t see any good qualities of leadership in him (Don Polye). But few cronies would say good things on media about him. I see him as an undercover fraudster and a murderer! His ego has spoken so much about himself (self promotion).

  13. Let me clarify the mispercetion about Wasa Bridge…We cant just damage the image of great leaders like Don Pomb Polye who is admired by the majority of PNGeans and Foreigners. Many contractors were engaged to build the bridge. The funds were waisted because there have been contract variations. Let us get the facts right…nothing is fishy in Kandep. PNG Echo is cordially to see for itself the impacts projects that the local MP initiated and you will believe it.

  14. Tribal fight in Kandep is a thing of the past. The fight was between only two subclans and not everyone as reported.

    Kandep district will have a micro-bank branch to financially support the small-medium enterprises in the area.

    This was made possible following a presentation of K2 million cheque by the local MP and Treasurer Don Pomb Polye to the National Development Bank last Friday in the electorate.

    The acting managing director for NDB Moses Liu, who is also from the electorate, said they had to bury their political differences to deliver better goods and services to the people.

    Mr Liu was one of the candidates who challenged Polye in the last election but had pledged to work hand-in-hand with him to transform Kandep for a better tomorrow.

    Kandep will be among 12 districts to have one.

    Mr Polye urged a few elites who had political differences to join hands with him continue to deliver more to the people.

    Finance and Education minister and Vice minister for works De Kawano jointly told the people in the electorate to refrain from tribal fighting for a better Kandep.

    A number of elites from the ‘opposition’ faction who were very proud of Polye’s appointment as chairman for World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund have joined the ‘government’ camp and are looking forward to working with Polye.

    Meanwhile, Planning minister Charles Abel presented on behalf of the government a Christmas gift of K1 million to Kandep High (K700, 000) and Kandep primary schools (K300, 000).

  15. Keep on stealing and one fine day your ass will rot in hell…You stole K71.8 million….Jusus christ!!! isn’t that enough?

    • It takes time to build leaders like Don Pomb Polye. Please let us drop our personal grudges him. If you have any substantial evidences, lodge your complaints with relevant authorities for investigation. Don’t just exhale hot air only to discredit him or better still perception/hearsay must not ignite your misconstrued statements. The truth will always stand tall.