PNG Chief Secretary Zurenuoc Accused Of Defamation

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Zurenuoc allegedly paid for damaging advertisement

By Todagia Kelola

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post-Courier, June 17, 2013) – Recently announced Knight and Chief Secretary to Government Manasupe Zurenuoc has been sued for defamation in Papua New Guinea.

Joseph Klapat, who maintains that he is the incumbent Secretary of Department of Religion Youth and Community Development has taken this action following a paid advertisement by Mr. Zurenuoc advising service providers both in the Public and Private Sectors and Development partners and Resident Diplomatic Corps that Mr. Klapat is no longer Secretary of the Department of Community Development and any commitment made by him will not be honored by the State.

Mr. Klapat alleged that the news paper advertisement by Mr. Zurenuoc defamed his name and professional integrity, it contravened the decision making process of the National Executive Council (NEC) in the appointment and revocation of appointment of Heads of Department, CEOs of state-owned enterprises (SOE) and other Statutory Entities of Government.

The action by Mr. Zurenuoc put the integrity of the Office of the Chief Secretary to disrepute and questions the integrity of the decision process of the NEC. Mr. Klapat in a statement said Mr. Zurenuoc being the top civil servant of the country should take due care in dealing with administrative issues affecting the performance of Government Departments and Agencies and in particular when dealing with issues of tenure of employment of Heads of Department and Statutory Government Agencies who have valid contract of employment with the State.

Mr. Klapat called on the Minister for Department for Religion Youth and Community Development, the Minister of Public Service and the Prime Minister to give attention and priority to resolving the current administrative impasse in the Department which has been ongoing for the past 18 months and which has reduced the once progressive and resilient department to its knees.

The writ of summon for the defamation law suit was filed and served to Mr. Zurenuoc on Tuesday 11th of June, 2013.

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