The body of the member for Kerema Open, the late Richard Mendani, lies- in- state today in the Grand Hall of the National Parliament to mark the start of the state funeral program after almost a month following his passing as a result of Covid-19 in a Port Moresby hospital.
According to the Gulf Provincial Administrator, Mr. Emmanuel Xavier, the state funeral in the province will take place tomorrow at the provincial capital Kerema town, and it will be done outdoors so to avoid any spread of the coronavirus.
The body of the late member will be flown out of Port Moresby city early tomorrow morning. The funeral service in Kerema town will start at 8am and ending at around midday. It will be presided over by the Bishop of the Kerema Diocese, Bishop Pedro Centeno Baquero.
After the funeral service, the body will be flown inland towards the mountains to Kanabea village where he comes from. The state funeral program will end at the time when he is flown out back to his people and family.
Government delegates, including some members of parliament, are expected to attend the funeral service as well in Kerema town tomorrow.
Meanwhile, the issue with funding was behind the long delay to organize the state funeral of the late member soon after his passing.
“The delay was due to funding issues, the government had to secure the for this service and arrangement for his body to Kerema.”
According to the administrator, the current economic and the convid-19 situation, forced the national government to take time to secure funding for the service and the repatriation of the body of the late member back to his people.
The late member passed away at the Pacific International Hospital (PIH) in Port Moresby on the 19th of March.