19 Nov 2013

PNG PM rejects 'Mugabe' comparison and defends fund takeover

8:54 am on 19 November 2013

The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea has defended the takeover of the Ok Tedi mine and rejected comparisons made between him and Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe.

Peter O'Neill says the Ok Tedi mine and the sustainable development fund has always been the property of the PNG people and he can't understand why he has been attacked for what the Government is doing.

The chairman of the PNG Sustainable Development Program and former prime minister Sir Mekere Morauta denounced Peter O'Neill as comparable to the Zimbabwe dictator for what he called 'pure greed'.

The media advisor of the SDP Mark Davis was deported from the country after a series of critical reports on the Government takeover.

Mr O'Neill says he is not answerable to one or two individuals.

"I think that is a far-fetched comparison but let me reiterate again, this mine has always been owned by the people of Papua New Guinea and of course the people of Western Province. All we have done is to put it in a different structure from that which held the shares on their behalf before."

The PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill.