Morobe Governor sacks officer involved in assault of journalist, makes formal apology

"Violence of any sort will not be tolerated by me..."

“I will not tolerate violence..” 

Morobe Governor, Ginson Saonu, has apologised for the assault on a Lae based Post Courier journalist one month after the incident happened.

He has also told members of the media that the staff member who assaulted journalist, Frankiy Kapin, has been sacked and new staff have been appointed.

Governor Saonu, received strong criticism after he delayed making a public statement to condemn the assault by staff member whilst the matter was in court.

This led to a month long standoff between journalists and the governor’s office during which all media events by the Morobe Provincial Government were turned down.

“The staff member concerned has been terminated from his job as an administration officer as a result of the incident and for bringing the office of the Governor into disrepute,” he said.

“I am setting this precedence as a warning to all of my staff as well as staff within the Department of Morobe that I will not tolerate violence of any sort.”

The assault was condemned by the PNG Media Council and various international organisations  United Nations (UN) and the International Federation of Journalist (IFJ)

Journalists from media organisations welcomed the governor’s statement.   Senior journalists expressing that the stand off began primarily because it has been difficult getting official answers from the Governor’s Office on various issues including the investigation into the spending of K44 million by the previous administration.

“Personally, I don’t want   this standoff to continue,” said NBC’s Gabriel Lahoc who responded to the Governor’s statements. “It is detrimental to the development of the province and to the people. But we have to make a stand against the violence.”

EMTV journalist, Julie Badui-Owa who was also threatened during the assault said she was important that integrity of the office was protected.

“As of 13th March, 2018, I refuse to be assaulted or threaten in any manner by any staff of the Governor’s office. I also want to know who your officers are as well as their phone numbers and what jobs they do.

“So in the even that you are not present, we can get responses from them.”

The governor’s office has since announced a restructure. A full list of staff members and their contact details will be released next week.

2 comments on “Morobe Governor sacks officer involved in assault of journalist, makes formal apology

  1. Yowa Zurenu

    The governor has done his part by sacking the officers who assaulted the media personal. It was a tough decision but he had no make it to protect the integrity of the office. On the same token, I appeal to the media to be responsible in your reporting. I have seen alot of misinformation or fake news being reported. While we condemn the actions of the officers in the strongest term possible, the events that lead to the incident must not be brushed aside. EMTV and Post Courier wrongly reported that the driver of the car that was involved in the nasty car accident that happened at Nasuapun along Lae-Nadzab highway was the Governor’s Protocol Officer. That is poor reporting. Both media orrganisations owe the good governor a formal apology. This false report lead to relatives of the deceased and vehicles fronting up at the Governor’s office and residence for compensation and putting the lives of innocent people at risk. Be responsible in your reporting and don’t sensationalise without real facts!


  2. I totally agree with the comment above that reporters need to be careful and also, their grammar is just off at times..


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