Hundreds Participate In PNG ‘Walk Against Corruption’- Transparency International PNG organized annual event

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (The National, May 27, 2013) – The Ombudsman Commission has urged all citizens to report and break the cycle of corruption in society.

This was the main message from Acting Chief Ombudsman Commissioner Phoebe Sangetari when addressing participants at the Jack Pidik Park at 5-Mile for the annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Port Moresby yesterday.

The walk was facilitated by Transparency International (PNG).

Sangetari told participants not to turn a blind eye on corrupt practices anymore.

“Report corruption, for too long we have turned our backs on corruption. You can be the part of the solution to break the cycle or be part of the cycle.”

“You as an individual must make a change and everyone else would want to follow you. Your behaviour and attitude will affect the others around you.”

She encouraged individuals to be role models in the communities by being the change.

“You be the beacon of hope and together we can fight corruption and do more than just take part in this walk.”

She said the first and most important step to take against corruption was to say no and to act on what each individual believed in a transparent society.

The second step she pointed out was for individuals to respect and enforce the laws that were in place.

“PNG is filled with laws yet we take shortcuts and we don’t follow them. This disease is eating all the fabrics of society and affecting every walk of life.”

“The fight against corruption should not be left to TIPNG, Ombudsman Commission and the police, it’s everyone’s business.”

TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens stressed that corruption has caused disharmony in society and prevented basic services from being delivered.

“PNG wants to say no and I hope we will continue to say no (to corruption),” he said.

More than 350 people took part in the annual Sir Anthony Siaguru Walk Against Corruption in Port Moresby yesterday.

[PIR editor’s note: Another 500+ people participated in the first Walk of Corruption conducted in Lae.]

The Transparency International (PNG) led walk was into its seventh year this year with the theme “Be the Change!” which calls for individuals to be the change in their communities.

The purpose of the walk was to create awareness of corruption, provide citizens an opportunity to demonstrate their opposition to corruption and raise funds for the Siaguru Endowment Fund (SEF).

The SEF is a back stream of funds which would ensure the future operations of TIPNG in the event that donors cease their support towards the institution.

The Jack Pidik Park at 5Mile was filled with various teams from government departments, schools, civil society organizations, business houses and families all in their uniforms and carried banners with anti corruption messages.

The walk began after six thirty in the morning led by acting Chief Ombudsman Commissioner Phoebe Sangetari and TIPNG chairman Lawrence Stephens followed by teams chanting their war cries to weed out corruption.

The walk began at the park, then through Boroko Drive, past Kaubebe Street, to Lahara Avenue then out to the Hubert Murray Highway and back to the starting point.

The event was also held in Kokopo, Kimbe, Madang, Alotau, Lihir, Kavieng and Lae on Saturday and yesterday of which more than 6, 000 people participated.