The Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce and Industry President is concerned about the recent election related violence and the subsequent fear and disruption to normal business activities it has created for business houses in the provincial capital Mendi.
The President, Mr. Barry Mini, said business houses in Mendi town have had to close their doors for days now since the fighting and destructions started on Thursday and this has deprived people from accessing service, leaving many without food and other necessary items to survive.
Residents in the capital Mendi and the surrounding areas were unable to access basic goods and services because the retail shops and wholesales were closed. He added that the shops and even the guest houses and hotels are making huge amounts of losses due to the violence that has gripped the township.
Mini said the election was conducted smoothly right up until three days ago when chaos broke out following coordinated attacks by supporters of candidates against each other in the heart of town.
“The Chamber wants the PNG Electoral Commission to make a decision now on the election situation and the government must declare a state of emergency in the province so to bring back normalcy to the province and Mendi,” said the president.
Speaking on behalf of the business community in Mendi, he said most of the business houses have bills to pay, employees to pay and loans to repay as well and if this situation is not brought under control soon the big businesses and even locally owned small to medium enterprises, will continue to lose more.