The controversial move comes less than a week after the O'Neill government passed legislation to take control of the 63.4 per cent shareholding in Ok Tedi, owned by the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Deveopment Program.
PNGSDP is a charitable trust set up to benefit the people of western Province, where the mine is located.
Sir Mekere had described the share takeover as 'stealing an asset belonging to Western Province'.
Leaders of the 162 mine-affected landowning communities held a media conference this afternoon to demand that the shares be transferred immediately to them and that no dividends from Ok Tedi be spent outside Western Province as of today.
Presenter: Jemima Garrett
Speaker: Richard Zumoim, spokesman, Community Mine Continuation Agreement, Papua New Guinea
ZUMOI: In our message to the government is that despite all that, what has happened. It still bring weight with the people of the Western Province, especially the impacted communities.
GARRETT: What is your reaction to the sacking of Sir Mekere Morauta?
ZUMOI: That sacking is just adding fuel to a fire and that's going to be bad for the people, because what we see is that the fairness that is being a former prime minister, he did all he can for to benefit the Western Province people, especially in the very sufferings and then the loss to their environment, the Fly River, and not just a guarantee for our people of Western Province and those who were are right now suffering, will always suffered the consequences in their future.
GARRETT: The Prime Minister says that the new board will provide strong and accountable leadership and ensure that the best interests of the people of Western Province are given the highest priority. Does that make you feel any better?
ZUMOI: That higher priority in the sense of talking and whatever they are writing, but the attitude and manner in how governments serve the people of Papua New Guinea. It's not going to save its members.
GARRETT: Why don't you believe the new ownership structure will work for the people of Western Province?
ZUMOI: Well, those are talks on the paper and by lips and we haven't really seen the mechanics of it. The thing here they're saying the mechanics of it, then we will guarantee that. That's not going to work, we know it.
GARRETT: Earlier you had threatened legal action against the government and the Prime Minister to challenge the legislation providing for the government takeover of the shares of the Papua New Guinea Sustainable Development Program. Will you be going ahead with that legal action and will you be challenging Sir Mekere's sacking?
ZUMOI: We're getting the court order on Friday.
GARRETT: What will you be asking the courts exactly?
ZUMOI: The court we will be asking that there's loopholes, there is a lot of rush in that takeover we can challenge and we have the right to sue the government.
GARRETT: So are you saying that?
ZUMOI: They're stealing from us.
GARRETT: So are you saying that the action the government has taken is unconstitutional?
ZUMOI: Well, it's unconstitutional and it's been very greedy and selfish.
GARRETT: Some Western Province members of parliament are in favour of the government takeover. Boka Kondra for one whose part of the government and the governor of Western Province, Ati Wobiro. Doesn't that give you pause for thought?
ZUMOI: Firstly, they are not from the impacted area, that is why they wrote that for and they're not for the people that are currently suffering by the mining tax.
GARRETT: This has been a very intense dispute. What action would you like to see from the Prime Minister to resolve it?
ZUMOI: The Prime Minister, simply he has to come and apologise to the people and on behalf of the successive governments, which decided for the mine to operate since in 1973, the first agreement that was signed by Ok Tedi Development Corporation and that successive governments on behalf of them, he has to come and apologise to the people of the Fly River, especially the impacted people, to say sorry and the current legislation that he has made in writing to rip us off. Stemming from us, come and apologise to the impacted people.