THE ONLY legal tender to be used in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville is the Papua New Guinea kina and no other currency, President John Momis has said following reports that the so-called ‘Bougainville kina’ has re-emerged.
The fake currency is being used in parts of south and north Bougainville by a faction aligned with the Mekamui group that is located in the heartland of the now defunct Panguna mine.
The ‘Bougainville kina’ was initiated by failed money scheme scammer, the reclusive Noah Misingku and his U Vistract group.
Dr Momis explained that Bougainville, despite being an autonomous region, cannot at this stage have its own currency as this power still rests with the PNG national government.
“The Bank of Papua New Guinea does not recognise any other currency in PNG or Bougainville except for the PNG kina,” Dr Momis said. “This stands as the only legal tender in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville.”
There have been reports that the illegal currency is in circulation with some people duped into thinking that it carries value for transactions.
Dr Momis urged Bougainvilleans not to use the currency and adhere to the law.
“We must concentrate on legitimate processes to generate revenue so we can build better infrastructure as well as to improve ourselves,” he said.
He said the move by U Vistract sought to destabilise the ABG’s efforts of uniting the people through legitimate means.
In dealing with the Tonu-based Noah Misingku (left), the Autonomous Bougainville Government has long opted for a subtle approach as its resolve has always been to achieve “peace by peaceful means”.
The previous Kabui administration led a military offensive against Misingku which resulted in casualties on both sides and which the present government hopes to avoid.
“Everything Misingku and his handful of followers stand for goes against the Bougainville Peace Agreement,” a spokesman said.