Chaos in Mendi

VIOLENCE has erupted in the Southern Highlands capital Mendi this week after the O’Neill government appointed a new provincial administrator.

Fighting broke out on Monday between supporters of recently appointed administrator William Powi and those of dismissed administrator Lawrence Olkoben according to local media.

Police units have been sent to Mendi to allow Powi to become administrator for a period of at least three months and to protect state property according to The National this morning.

Powi told the newspaper that more than K40 million of provincial treasury funds have been abused in just three months, with much of this funding going to "shady projects".

He reportedly told the newspaper that a large sum was also paid out within the first two weeks of this month, and that Okloben's supporters had attempted to destroy treasury records.

However, acting provincial treasurer Kevin Pruno and governor Anderson Agiru did not support Powi's claims in this report.

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