Lest we forget: Francis Potape, Tumbi Yari and PNG Constructions.

Francis Potape
Francis Potape – 2010

Corruption fighters of PNG: your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to establish a link between Tumbi Yari and MP Francis Potape of Komo Margarima in the Southern Highlands Province with Western Highlands registered PNG Constructions and its Director William Onglo of  Chimbu . Here’s what I’ve got,  now it’s over to you.


By PNG Echo

What do a Government MP, a senior public servant and a Construction Company have in common?  If that question reads like the beginning of a corny joke, it isn’t.

The answer’s not even remotely funny.  In PNG, these are some of the key ingredients for corruption.

Allegations: an oldie but a goodie 

Margarima, Southern Highlands Province

In the Komo Margarima district of the Southern Highlands there are allegations going back to June 2010 that the Acting District Administrator, Tumbi Yari

…illegally did direct transfers, made huge withdrawals over the counter under his own name, converting huge amounts of money into bank cheques to direct transfers to PNG Construction Ltd a company purportedly owned by the local member of parliament [Francis Potape] and many others he and the local MP has personal interest [sic]

The letter, a copy of which is with PNG Echo, is addressed to the Office of the Chief Secretary and signed on behalf of the people of Komo Margarima.

The letter attaches supporting documents, in the form of bank statements where the reader is directed to the relevant entries via handwritten notes.

The letter was copied (CC’d) to 11 further entities (June 2010) including the Department of the Prime Minister, the Ombudsman’s Office, the National Fraud Squad, CID, (then) Minister Marape, and (then) Minister for Public Services, Peter O’Neill.

According to my brilliant colleague at PNG Exposed (who published on this alleged corruption back in 2010) there is a question of K18 million unaccounted for.

So, what’s new?

No action has been taken on this allegation and/or there have been no charges laid.  But that’s nothing new, is it?

What is new is that I have been able to get accurate information on PNG Constructions.

It tells us, that if Francis Potape is involved with this construction company it is at arms length.  He Is neither a director nor shareholder nor has he ever been.  The same goes for Tumbi Yari

However, since this complaint was lodged, Potape and Yari have been inextricably linked together in another corruption scam.

PNG Constructions

PNG Constructions was incorporated in November of 1999.   The company is registered in Mount Hagen, Western Highlands Province.

At the time of registration, the two directors were Tilam Andayo and William Onglo.

In February 2009, Tilam Andayo, also the Managing Director of Poroma Coffee Exporters, ceased to be a director of PNG Constructions.

Our research points to the fact that both directors had (have?) aspirations to become Members of Parliament.

Tilam Andayo unsuccessfully contested the seat of Nipa Kutubu, Southern Highlands in the national elections of 2007 and a Steven Andayo contested the same seat in 2012 (are they the same person – or related?)

An electoral commission search also reveals that both a William Gumayagl Onglo  and a William Gogl Onglo were  losing parliamentary candidates  in 2012 in the seat of Kundiawa in Chimbu.  (The winning contestant was Tobias Kulang.)

A more generalize search under the name of William Onglo has turned up an artist from Kundiawa in Chimbu one of whose drawings has been acquired by the National Gallery of Australia.

If this is the William Onglo who is now the sole director of PNG Constructions, one has to wonder what an artist/parliamentary aspirant knows about running a construction company?

What’s more, although there is no direct link between the MP and the public servant with the company, an indirect one is established by the monetary transactions from PNG Constructions to Yari and the movements back and forth from the DSIP accounts.

Corruption charges

Then there’s the more recent alleged corruption scam.

On 3 September 2012, the National reported that Sam Koim, of Task-Force Sweep, arrested acting district administrator, Tumbi Yari for misappropriating, K300,000.

Yari had allegedly paid out, to various members of the Komo Margarima joint district planning and budget priority committee (including district member Francis Potape), sums amounting to sometimes 200 times their due.

Potape allegedly received the sum of K60,000 for attending the meetings, whereas he should have been paid K300

According to Task-Force Sweep, both Potape and Yari have been committed to stand trial and this will occur later this year.

May as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb

Potentially though, it’s not just K300,000 that has gone missing from the funds of Komo Margarima district.

But, clearly, one of the evidential drawbacks of investigating this allegation (if anyone has ever bothered) is that there is no direct link (at least that I can find) between the three entities.

However, that’s not to say that there isn’t one and someone knows what it is.  If you are that person, please get in touch.  Let’s get this allegation seriously investigated.



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7 thoughts on “Lest we forget: Francis Potape, Tumbi Yari and PNG Constructions.

  1. This looks like a fishing trip to me, I wonder if the learned doctor has been to Komo Magarima and witness first hand the hospital constructed by PNG Constructions?

    If you are unable to establish a link between the 3, then obviously you are wrong in your assumptions.

    I cannot vouch doe the MPs but I can say 200% that PNG Constructions ia a very reputable Construction business operated by someone who is a professional in the Building and Civil Industry. ..

    I urge the writer to go up the Highlands Region and around PNG to see first hand development done by this Construction company instead of being all self righteous behind a computer screen.

    It is good that you (whoever you are) is trying to expose corruption, we all wanna get rid of this disease but to publish an allegation without any factual evidence is in itself a corrupt practice.

    • I have receipt of bank statements – they tell a different story. But then I said that in the article.

      • With all due respect Dr. You also said that the 3 entities of which you trying to link are not connected. … there’s bank receipts for everything

        • That’s true. They are linked by the banking records. What I meant is that neuther Yari nor Potape are officially connected by management or shareholding to PNG Constructions.

  2. Take a drive down to hela and physically see the rural hospital built instead of discrediting hard working papua new guineans and png companies. Its an achievement for a local company to complete complex projects in a remote locations against all odds of logistics and highlands highway nightmares…

    EX LNG

    • Did they get paid for the project or was it paid for by them out of the goodness of their hearts? Paid for by government? I thought so. So they completed a project – big deal – but then it’s exactly that in PNG isn’t it? Any paid for project that gets finished is a marvel. Can you please stop generalizing and name these hard-working PNGeans and the companies of which you speak?