MEDIA RELEASE STATEMENT
PNG COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS UNION
PNG Communication Workers Union with its members, staff and management of TPNG call for Hon. Prime Minister – Peter O’Neil to immediately terminate and revoke the appointment of Mr Mahesh Patel as Chairman of Kumul Telikom Board, on these following reasons:
1. Mahesh Patel, ‘in his term as Chairman of Telikom PNG Limited in 2013, told lies to Union Executives that under his term as Chairman, that there won’t be any mass retrenchment taking place in TPNG, similar to what happen to 500 employees who were retrenched under VES-Voluntary Exist Scheme in 2012. After one year, seven months; he introduced ‘SPILL & FILL’ in TPNG, which resulted in some 300 plus employees who were forced retrenched’. This was a minuted meeting at Chairman’s office on third floor of Telikom Rumana.
2. Mahesh Patel, ‘in his term as Chairman of Telikom PNG, period 2012 to 2016 ran down TPNG, the company did not declare any substantial dividend profit and failing to pay the State - share-holder the dividend as required’. The latest was K20 million un-declared dividend paid to KCH Limited, which appeared on two daily newspapers that appeared in the month of February, 2017. Mahesh Patel told lies to the share- holder and 8.5 million people of PNG. He must be held accountable for telling lies and be deported out from PNG.
In his term as Chairman, TPNG made significant losses in these following years:
· 2O12 – TPNG made a profit of K131 million.
· 2013 – TPNG made a profit of K3 million.
· 2014 – TPNG made a loss of K81 million.
· 2015 – TPNG made a loss of K19 million.
· 2016 – TPNG made a loss of K17 million.
3. Mahesh Patel, ‘in his term as Chairman of TPNG defied former Minister for the then IPBC, now KCH Limited – Honourable Ben Micah; ministerial directive letter not to terminate former CEO of TPNG, Mr Charles Litau in 2013 and even further defied legal advice from Mr Philip Aeva, TPNG Chief Legal Officer on the same reason, instead went ahead and appointed Mr Michael Donnelly as CEO of TPNG in total defiance’.
4. Mahesh Patel, ‘in his term as Chairman of TPNG introduced ‘SPLILL & FILL’ a foreign concept of redundancy in TPNG in March/April, 2015, to force retrenched some 300 plus; well qualified engineers, technical officers, admin and support staff, without complying to Labour Laws of PNG. This matter is now before the National Court of Waigani, taken up by PNG Communication Workers Union on behalf of many who were affected. The Spill & Fill has caused TPNG, tens of millions of kina, in this illegal introduced scheme of redundancy under Spill & Fill in 2015 and 2016.
Mahesh Patel, CEO- Michael Donnelly; both will be held accountable for introducing this illegal ‘SPILL& FILL’ into TPNG, once if the National Court of Waigani rule in favour of PNGCWUnion. Both, have committed crime against humanity in force retrenching 300 plus employees of TPNG Limited.
5. Mahesh Patel, in his term as Chairman of TPNG; condoning CEO - Michael Donnelly’s Wife, ‘Sarah Donnelly – who is not a registered member of the Nursing Council of PNG in conducting health awareness program amongst staff of TPNG in all of 2015, 2016 and still continuing in 2017, in all centres of PNG’.
Sarah Donnelly, CEO’s wife has travelled extensively using TPNG resources in vehicles hire, hotel accommodations, food, allowances, and air travel tickets. It has cost TPNG several thousands of kina in her engagement by Human Resources Department. She continuous to carry out this medical awareness, despite not being a fully registered member of the Nursing Counsel of PNG in breach of Code of ethics and Nursing Counsel Medical Practise.
6. Mahesh Patel, as Chairman of TPNG by virtue of his influence, using ‘TPNG time and resources to pursue his CPL –Business interest in PNG’. One such evidence is the ‘supply and installation of FIBRE OPTIC CABLE to City Pharmacy at Gerehu Stage-six Head Quarters; a company fully owned by Mahesh Patel. It cost TPNG Limited, K1, 006, 998.00. There was no proper ‘BUSINESS CASE’ on this contract job’.
The Union has prepared the documents to go before Police Fraud Squad for further investigation and prosecution.
7. Mahesh Patel, as ‘Chairman of new look: Kumul Telikom Board under KCH Limited, defying Prime Minister: Peter O’Neil, NEC, and former Minister for KCH Limited – Honourable; William Duma not to honour NEC –DECISSION No.360/2016, dated 20th December, 2016, not allowing Mr Moses Tendumo to assume his role as Acting – CEO of TPNG, after NEC has revoked Michael Donnelly’s term as CEO of TPNG’.
8. New NEC-DECISSION No. 360/2017, which superseded NEC –Decision No. 360/2016 of 20th December, 2016 to change the name TPNG Limited and to rename as Telikom Mobile is opposed by the Union with all its members, staff and management of TPNG Limited. The name, TPNG Limited is to remain as brand name and no retail business of TPNG are to be transferred to Bemobile. The Union demand Prime Minister to rescind NEC-Decision No. 360/2017 not to merge the three entities, because legislation framework hasn’t been approved by Parliament to allow the merging to take place or any transfer of TPNG assets. NEC –Decision alone cannot usurp the power of Parliament.
9. TPNG Limited has a debt liability it owes banks and creditors, amounting to K750 million and Bemobile owes TPNG, some K122,184,206,59 million.
Point 1- 9, shows that Mahesh Patel, in his term as Chairman of TPNG did not comply with Charter of Good Governance he signed on 22 May, 2014. He failed in exercising of his duties to highest standards of probity, diligence and stewardship, on behalf of people of Papua New Guinea, and in accordance with the Code of Governance and specifically, to the elements of Corporate Governance he signed for. On this note, he is not a ‘fit’ and ‘proper’ person to be appointed as Chairman of Kumul Telikom Board for he has done badly in managing TPNG Limited, period 2013 to 2016.
His appointment on Kumul Telikom Board, will not serve the interest of 8.5 million people of PNG; instead, Mahesh Patel will use this opportunity to pursue his CPL-Business interest in PNG and serve his foreign partners interest, in the guise of serving interest of PNG people on Kumul Telikom Board.
Amongst many other reasons, Mahesh Patel; has usurp and assert power of influence, defying latest NEC-DECISSION and ill-advising the government on merging of three Teleco-companies; Telikom PNG Limited, Bemobile and DataCO Limited.
Notice, in late 2006, Government introduced telecommunication reform. That reform did away with monopoly and allowed open competition into telecommunication industry. This means, other players in telecommunication industry can now compete in this industry, giving people of PNG the choice to choose which players can provide modern, cheap, affordable, reliable telephone services, internet excess and affordability and all other ISP services. This allowed for free competition in telecommunication industry. This merging will kill others players in the market.
That means, the days of monopoly is over, we cannot go back. The latest NEC-DECISSION on the merging will defeat the reform in the telecommunication industry and encourage ‘monopoly all over again’. That is what Mahesh Patel, John Mangos, and other appointed expatriates on Kumul Telikom Board is telling the government to do. That is not good, for competition in telecommunication industry in PNG. The Union question what is the rationale behind the merging of these three entities and what is the ‘REAL MOTIVE’?
Mahesh Patel is playing pure politics. Under no circumstances, should any foreigner be allowed to usurp and assert power of influence or dominance, to the extent of defying Prime Minister, or any other cabinet Ministers or even refusing to implement NEC- DECISSION.
The worst case scenario here is the latest announcement on the merging of three Teleco companies, being: Telikom PNG Limited, Bemobile and DataCo Limited.
Telikom PNG Limited has gone through massive retrenchment in 2012, under VES – Voluntary Exist Scheme, which saw 500 qualified employees gone finished. TPNG Limited did not fully recovered after VES-Redundancy, just after only two years, another massive retrenchment under Spill & Fill took place, in which some 300 plus, employees were forced under this retrenchment again.
Obviously something is not right here, and this need commission of enquiry to look into this two decisions on mass redundancy.
The Union will call upon the new Government that will be formed this year, after the national election to establish a commission of enquiry to look into discrepancies in TPNG and the merging of the tree entities, on whose interest is the government serving?.
Union sees the merging as the work of foreigners appointed on Kumul Telikom Board, ill-advising the government on the merging to pursue their own interest. This will lead to another mass retrenchment taking place, just less than one and the half years, after Spill & Fill was introduced in TPNG in 2015.
v Honourable Prime Minister, can you deny or confirm that John Mangos, Mahesh Patel and Andrew Johnson are negotiating with World Bank to secure some millions in US$ Dollars in preparation to buy of Telikom PNG Limited, Bemobile and DataCo Limited in the merging.
Page | 4
v The Union has been informed that Digicel is going to buy off the three entities under one merger and park the transmission gate way of telecommunication in Fiji or elsewhere offshore.
The Union is reliably informed that John Mangos is the director of Digicel Mobile Company in PNG. Digicel was funded by World Bank on US$200, million dollars to help setting up Mobile network in Haiti and the Carabian Island, but found stiff competition there and they had to move over into PNG when reform into telecommunication industry took place in 2006, allowing other players to come and compete. The Union is uncertain if John Mangos as director to Digicel has paid back US$200, million dollars World bank loan, whilst carrying out Digicel business in PNG, since 2006?. If he has not, we see the merging as work of John Mangos, using Mahesh Patel as Chairman of Kumul Telikom Board to pursue his agenda to push for merging of three teleco companies; being Telikom PNG Limited, Bemobile, and Dataco Limited to buy under one merger and this will give him financial standing to repay world bank on the loan Digicel received to fund its mobile operations in PNG.
v The Union is not surprise, to see him being appointed as CEO at KCH Limited. Is he there to buy off the tree entities under one merger with World Bank assistance?. We hope not, and we are watching very closely.
The Union is reliably been informed and we are watching every move taken by John Mangos, Mahesh Patel, Andrew Johnson and other expatriates at KCH Limited and at Kumul Telikom Board.
Furthermore, the Union sees that the merging will breach, NICTA Act, ICCC Act, Telikom PNG Act, and other legislations that governs the operation of Bemobile and DataCo Limited. It will render these state assets/ companies to be sold to foreigners and leave people of PNG powerless, dry, losers and baggers in their own mother land, of which these state assets were set up for present and future generations to enjoy and find equal opportunity for employment and job security.
From the outset, Telikom PNG Limited was established by ‘Act of Parliament, under ‘Section Two’, Section Six’ that governs all its operations’. There shouldn’t be any separation or merging. Merging will ‘breach ICCC-Section 50’ on competition in Telecommunication industry.
THE APPOINTMENT OF MAHESH PATEL AS CHAIRMAN OF KUMUL TELIKOM BOARD.
The Union oppose the appointment of Mahesh Patel as Chairman of Kumul Telikom Board, reason being;
1. He does not have telecommunication qualification nor experience in the related core business in telecommunication industry to be seen as fit and proper person to manage the majority State Owned Enterprises.
2. Mahesh Patel holds a ‘DIPLOMA IN PHARMACEUTICAL’ practise for the sale of medical drugs or medicine.
3. A person appointed to positions of authority at the Chairman and board of director level must be duly competent, having met all or mandatory academic qualifications and experiences, preferably related to the core business these entities are engaged in. Mahesh Patel fall short of this qualification.
4. He ran down Telikom PNG Limited in his term as Chairman of Telikom PNG, and no profit declared under his leadership from period, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Page | 5
Union with its members, staff and management of TPNG refuse having him to lead another major State Owned Enterprise, giving a very glimpse picture of the type of person who has failed to deliver to the government and people of PNG in his term as Chairman of Telikom PNG Limited. ‘It could have been far better, if he was appointed as Chairman of Port Moresby General Hospital Board - giving the diploma he holds in pharmaceutical practise’; then to be Chairman of Kumul Telikom Board.
Prime Minister, herein we provide commentaries on eligibility requirements of Directors and Chairman of Board of Directors of Majority State Owned Enterprises (MSOE).