THE FALL OF GAMATO AND THE RISE OF PLAYBOY SINAI
by PNGBlogs Special Correspondent
In the 2017 Election Patilias, Gamato made an unpopular decision with regard to Section 175 1A)(b) which cost him numerous criticism and plunged his career into a downward spiral so rapidly that and eventually dumped Simon Sinai.
He made the first ever "special circumstances " declaration of William Powi as Governor of Southern Highlands due to the chaotic civil unrest, the burning down of the newly built million Kina National complex, and also the burning down of the Dash 8 aircraft.
William Powi was then declared as the Governor based on his lead in the first preference counts. The matter was immediately filed and tried in the court of disputed returns by three candidates trailing behind Joe Kobol, Pr. Bernard Kaku and another I cannot recall. Joe Kobol lost his fight but Pastor Benard Kaku's petition was successful in that on 24th August 2021, Judge Cannings ruled that Powi's win and the declaration were wrong and therefore a recount was ordered.
Unfortunately, Election 2022 caught up and the matter died naturally as fresh Election writs were issued.
Few PNGEC notable events that took place in 2017 were, David Wakias then Election Manager for Southern Highlands was sidelined(by Gamato) for administrative fraud(theft of the Mendi Election Office Land cruiser s/wagon) as well as fraudulent cashing of 3rd party Election cheques amounting to 3 million kina from BSP Mendi
The vacant Mendi Election Manager's position became a tussle between Jacob Kurap (who was appointed by Gamato to replace Wakias ) and David Wakias himself. This later forced Wakias to testify as a key witness for the petitioner Pr.Kaku against the Electoral Commission in the disputes filed separately by Kobol and Pastor Kaku.
In NCD around the same time NCD, Election Manager Terence Hetinu was arrested with K187,000.00 in cash which he claimed was given to him by Gamato to pay Moresby Northwest officials as camping and meal allowances for the one-day polling when officials went on strike at Hanuabada on the 27th June 2017.
The arrest was not affected due to the Election process not being completed and there was no complaint being lodged by a complainant as stated by Ben Turi then Metropolitan Superintendent.
However, events quickly complimented each other when Wakias was subsequently terminated twice by Gamato after the 2017 election as his first termination was reinstated by the court citing flaws which Gamato corrected and made sure this time Wakias was terminated properly in 2019.
A few months later this led to Wakias and a few other disgruntled, power-hungry EC officials in the likes of Aida Samson, Alwyn Jimmy, Peter Malaifeope, Margaret Vagi, Bura Maro, and Steven GORE including Simon Sinai whom Gamato had made his Deputy Commissioner Operations commenced talks to dethrone Gamato and install Sinai in order to enrich themselves with Election 2022 funds and privileges. With Kobol eager to get rid of Gamato and Wakias fuming over his termination, Simon Sinai had the perfect tools on his hand now to oust Gamato who brought him(Sinai) down from Lae and gave him the Deputy Commissioner Operations position just like that.
A plot was hatched to get Gamato and Hetinu arrested and charged criminally for the unexplained monies held by the police at Boroko so that Gamato would be suspended and Simon Sinai takes over.
That however needed funds to make this happen as police will expect payment as the norm is for high profile cases and so Wakias from his Southern Highlands connections with candidates, linked Joe Kobol up who has a lot of money and is hell-bent on getting rid of Gamato for the Section 175 declaration earlier on Powi by Gamato and PRO Steven Gore. ( David Wakias had a fiery grudge against Gamato for his termination so he elected to become the mastermind of the plot)
Kobol was told of the plan and he agreed to provide the funds for Wakias to be the complainant as planned and Wakias being an ex-policeman thru his connections linked up Detective Smith Morikia a crook cop who had no jurisdiction over high-profile cases ( and embroiled in NAC cases) swiftly took up the case and compiled complainant statements from Wakias who was in SHP in 2017 but made it looked like he was in NCD.
Joe Kobol who wanted to contest again in the 2022 Election was ready to see Gamato removed and Simon Sinai who was so obsessed with the position of EC, having sleepless nights and migraines agreed to chip in with fake claims to be paid to Detective Smith Morikia under one company owned by Smith Morikia's brother Alphonse Morikia, Lai Transport Services. PNGEC records will show that the company was paid huge cash amounts between 2019 and 2021. Even it was paid under Bouganville Regional By-election for not providing any services at all but authorized by power-hungry Sinai. The proceeds from this payment to Lai Transport earned Detective Morikia a grey Camry sedan bought from a recon car dealer at Chinatown, East Boroko as observed.
The arrest of Hetinu and Gamato was effected by Morikia in 2019 and soon enough as expected, prosecutors, and magistrates all pushed the matter to trial as money was placed into their pockets . Witnesses from the Electoral Commission in the likes of David Wakias, Alwyn Jimmy, Aida Samson, and numerous others were lured to give statements against Gamato and Hetinu and were lured with funds from Kobol and from Simon Sinai were enticed with the promise of promotions and money.
After his arrest, Gamato as expected was sidelined by the Marape-led government being briefed by Sinai through his tambu or unlawful like Pila Ninigi and guess who came into power ahead of expected and experienced and potential candidates. Simon Sinai.
Assuming his role as Acting Commissioner he went ahead with his evil plan to plunder PNGEC of its funds under dubious claims to pay dubious service providers so that he can get his cut.
Through David Wakias Sinai misled Kobol to believe that the Southern Highlands Governor seat will go to Kobol and Powi will be ousted. Kobol opened his cash chest wide and ensured that everyone involved in the prosecution of Gamato and Hetinu was properly compensated from police to witnesses and court officials. (Recorded audio recordings of phone conversations between Sinai, Morikia and Wakias were obtained to verify this)
Unfortunately in court Gamato being afraid of going to prison denied and betrayed innocent Hetinu that he gave the cash to Hetinu thus shifting the blame onto Hetinu who had a purported document from a candidate in his possession at the time of his arrest making it look like he got the cash from the candidate Michael Kandiu. (Kandiu later testified in court as a defense witness for Hetinu that he was never arrested by police, and that he never gave any cash to Hetinu or signed any documents)Gamato was saved the jail sentence as the judge ran a media trial and found Hetinu guilty on circumstantial evidence only however he couldn't save himself from the judgment made by NEC to drop him from being reappointed as Commissioner in favor of Sinai.
The plan to send Gamato to jail by Kobol Wakias and Sinai failed however his seat was now in Sinai's control. Kobol must have thought this was his only opportunity to win the SHP seat with Sinai in power. Thomas Teine ( Manager Highlands)Alwyn Jimmy (retrenched), Margaret Vagi (Director Ops) and Peter Malaifeope (Manager Central), and Wakias were vying expectantly for the Deputy Commissioner Admin post.
Sinai couldn't agree on who to give the Deputy Commissioner Operations post as he was afraid the others might expose his corrupt schemes and dubious deals and so sadly PNGEC did not have a Deputy Commissioner Operations during the entire election 2022 period. A very critical and important position was assumed by Sinai so that he could control the entire Election at his disposal. To date, PNGEC has no Deputy Commissioner of Operations.
Sinai quickly dispatched Alwyn Jimmy as the new Election Manager and PRO for SHP. The fact of the matter is Alwyn Jimmy was already a retrenched officer who was illegally appointed by Sinai to head the Election in SHP. (his engagement may to this day be flawed with DPM.)
To please Kobol and make it look like they were with him, Jimmy was sent to SHP as Wakias could not be terminated and was also a controversial character. Jimmy was instead sent to give assurance to Kobol. Kobol must have spent millions on Sinai and Jimmy which Kobol knows during the polling period up to counting. What Kobol didn't realize was that Pangu was in control, not Sinai or Jimmy. Thus the Section 175 declaration came in again and was made by Sinai with advice from Jimmy and obviously the ruling government. Joe Kobol was betrayed by both Jimmy and Sinai. Powi is with Marape and Sinai had to keep his job and Alwyn's.
Wakias on the other hand was terminated on serious grounds and could not be re-employed easily into the public service, Sinai appointed him as Assistant Election Manager WSP and put him on casual pay tucked away there in Sandaun province
Surely it is going to be redemption time for Kobol from Simon Sinai, David Wakias, and Alwyn Jimmy.
The truth about Sinai is that he lacks sound and collective management attributes. He likes to please himself as the sole decision maker that produces a result whether it be good or bad. It can be weighed later. He is totally incompetent. 30% of his time he spent on strategies ( like installing CCTV in EC HQ) and countermeasures to target people he thinks are a threat to him by charging them and suspending or terminating well. . He is suffering from schizophrenia. Negative perception about his own officer's behavior and movements that might lead to his removal.
50 %; of his other time is spent on how much money he can swindle through dubious claims, payments, and conflict of interest dealings. Only if the PNGEC books are audited independently then shall the truth be exposed about the use of millions of kina being misappropriated for other irrelevant activities thus starving important activities like Roll update, voter education, etc.
The last 30 % of his time is on his roles and responsibilities which he is incapable of and so he messed up Election 2022. He should be sidelined immediately and someone else more capable is appointed to run for By-election and prepare for the 2027 Election by use of biometrics and improvise the Electoral roll as early as possible.
Kobol can challenge the fact with records from DPM that Mr.Alwyn Jimmy is not the duly elected Election Manager and therefore all his decisions in SHP are illegal. David Wakias a terminated officer for serious fraud and terminated administratively is again employed by Sinai.
All Sinai's decisions made in this election should be and must be tested in court to see if it holds weight. PNG will truly see a fair and free Election with Sinai removed otherwise the chaotic experience this year will double or triple in the next election.