They are Pym Mamindi and Pinjiki Wak from the Western Highlands Province.
“Why are our grown men allowing unproven, backward thinking mentality hold us back from going forward as a people. It is so easy to pick on the vulnerable women and children in our communities to channel our insecurities and fears, but what sort of a legacy are we leaving for our children and theirs to come?” asked Pinjiki Wak in disbelief.
Wak, the Atlas Steel Ingenuity Award Winner of the 2014/15 Season and a very well respected businessman in the Western Highlands Province said this when he was recently asked by the Digicel PNG Foundation team who reached out for strong leadership voices to be heard in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea.
“Highlands men must stand shoulder to shoulder and rise up against these sorcery and sanguma related violence. Our silence is killing our mothers, our sisters and our daughters. It’s so easy to blame others because we don’t take ownership for our problems. But it takes, good men, and women to stand up against all forms of violence and intimidation”, said the 2014/15 Season Hertz Leasemaster Entrepreneur, Pym Mamindi.
The MoH awardees were adamant to speak out against such an inhumane act on an innocent 6 year old child.
The MoH Award recipients observed that sanguma is fast becoming a new way of thinking, a faith so to speak, in Enga and the Western Highlands Province; and sadly, it’s a reflection of a sick society and one that is desperate to cling onto something because they are poorly educated, have no access to government funded services, no employment opportunities and are hallucinating on drugs.
“Sangauma is not tradition. It’s not even in our traditional vocabulary. Someone started fear mongering and like religious cults, they have a following and like wild fire, it is destroying our families and our communities,” said Wak.
Pym added that, “There is no substance in what these perpetrators believe. We strongly condemn the actions of those involved who tortured such a young, innocent child. This act is both inhuman and evil and the perpetrators must be brought to justice and we must all stand together against this to stop it from destroying us.”
The MoH awardees said this heinous act showed the country and indeed the world that we do not care, but as a collective people, this is far from the truth. They added that though only a few are acting this way, the silence of the majority are giving reason for “long long people” to continue this insanity.
“If those men are not sangumas themselves, and they do not practice such a thing called sanguma, then with what experience are they accusing this little girl? I call on our people to see through this deception,” challenged Wak, the older of the two MoH spokesmen. “We cannot call ourselves Christians because this goes against our faith.”
Digicel Foundation CEO, Beatrice Mahuru, thanked the Men of Honour recipients from the highlands for standing together to speak up against this heinous act.
“This heinous crime must be stopped by all citizens of Papua New Guinea. The torture of innocent people, especially children, will continue if good people do nothing and say nothing. As a mother and a Papua New Guinean, I feel rocked to the core, and I want to thank the Lutheran Missionary and PNG Tribal Foundation for stepping in to save our daughter, niece, and granddaughter. And, I want to thank our Men of Honour Awardees for standing up and speaking out against this,” said Beatrice Mahuru
- Crimes against children should shock PNG! - http://www.looppng.com/node/70467
-Enga police on child’s brutal torture - http://www.looppng.com/node/69781
-Small girl allegedly tortured over ‘sanguma’ accusations - http://www.looppng.com/node/69750
-Child’s torture: Perpetrators yet to be identified-http://www.looppng.com/node/70259