By PNG Echo
Finance Minister, James Marape, has denied the claims of Sam Basil that Wau/Bulolo is being discriminated against in the distribution of DSIP funds (along with the electorates of all Opposition MPs) because of political affiliations. ( (Post Courier 28 February 2014)
Just last night on social media, Sam Basil claimed that he had received only K3million of DSIP funding with a second payment of K3 million being inaccessible because it was deposited in the wrong account.
There has also been an ‘urgent’ appeal to the Supreme Court, lodged by the Opposition, to halt payment of 2014 DSIP monies. It will be heard on March 14.
Marape made this offer to Basil:
If the Leader of Wau-Bulolo cares to come to the Finance Department, like all leaders are doing, he would appreciate the K7 million has been already remitted to the district and province meant for development.
He went on to say:
Sam Basil knows that K7million for DSIP and K5million for the provincial improvement program and the K500,000 each for all LLGs in the district has been paid already,
This makes the allocation to Wau/Bulolo K13.5 million
Marape denied any discrimination saying that budgetary constraints affect the distribution of DSIP funds and that not only opposition members are affected.
Marape claims his district of Tari/Pori has the same K3million outstanding too.
Ironically, Marape accused Basil (when Basil was National Planning Minister) of doing his own ‘politicking’ with goverrnment funds .
During that time Marape claimed Basil had given more money to Wau/Bulolo than anywhere else and in contrast had not given “…a single toea to districts that were opposing [him],” (and it seems that included Marape’s electorate.)
Marape further accused Basil of of shameless self promotion saying:
…Wau-Bulolo is bigger than your [Basil’s] political agenda.
In this Marape has a point.
Basil is particularly media-savvy and has been known to ‘beat up’ many an issue, creating a media ‘storm in a teacup.’
Who can forget the legendary exchange where septuagenarian Sir Michael Somare (who stands not much taller than 5 feet) lost his temper in Parliament and threatened Sam Basil (Six foot plus, International martial arts champion, who had yet to reach his fortieth year) that he would “Kilim”
Those with even a cursory knowledge of Tok Pisin would understand that “kilim” does not translate to ‘kill him’. Nevertheless, Basil did the rounds of the media publicizing the ‘death threat’ from this old frail man.
It’s almost as funny as a young Noel Anjo Kolao being ‘slipper whipped’ by the matriarch Lady Veronica Somare.