The truth behind SINUSA’s 14-day strike notice

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THIS is to reveal the reason why Reginald Ngati and his group are issuing the 14 days strike notice as appeared in the Islands Sun’s issue of Thursday March 22, 2018.

The truth behind their call for my removal was because as the Pro-Vice Chancellor responsible for students’ matters, I declared the election of Reginald Ngati and his executive on October 31, 2017 NULL and VOID.

This is the full account of what happened;

Following my declaration of the results of SINUSA election held on October 31, 2017 where Reginald Ngati’s executive was elected as Executive of SINUSA, I received a petition dated November 13, 2017 from the losing candidates complaining and disagreeing with the process and election results.

In view of the petition and in fairness to the petitioner, I sanctioned the formation of a Special Select Committee (SSC) to look into the matter.

The Committee comprised three senior officers of the university with objective of consulting relevant documents, gathering facts and information relating to the very issues raised in the petition and offer recommendation(s) whether the election process was fair or otherwise.

The SSC as per their findings had recommended that;

  1. The elections results for SINUSA’s executive held on October 31, 2017 be declared Null and Void due to the noncompliance with SINUSA’s Constitution Section 26 sub-section (3) and (5) and section 28, sub-section (2).
  2. Sections 26, 27 and 28 of SINUSA’s Constitution be reviewed and amended to specifically provide clear procedures and guidelines for the election of SINUSA’s executives.
  3. Election Procedures and guidelines be developed and produced to provide guidance to the appointed Returning Officer.
  4. An official list of registered students and financial members of SINUSA to be produced as voters list and used to identify voters (students) during the election.

As a consequence of the breach of the SINUSA Constitution as in recommendation 1 above, I as the person who declared the election results uphold the recommendations of the SSC and further declared that the SINUSA election held on October 31, 2017 and the executive voted-in Null and Void.

Legal opinion was also sought from the University Legal Counsel on the same also affirmed the recommendation.

With this declaration the SINUSA executive elected then (Reginald Ngati’s Executive) should have relinquished their leadership of SINUSA forthwith.

In view of the above, SINU Management is of the view that the SINUSA election held on October 31, 2017 was not valid and that it doesn’t recognise Reginald Ngati and his group as SINUSA executive.

Furthermore more Reginald Ngati does not the mandate to call him the President of SINUSA and that he and his former executive members do not have the authority to use the SINUSA letterhead and office facilities.

In line with the SSC’s recommendation 2 and 3 and in the interim, I have appointed the students’ representative to the SINU Council, Mr Hardyson Maenu’u to supervise the SINUSA Secretariat and to coordinate the review of the relevant sections of the SINUSA Constitution as identified above by the SCC, before a fresh election is called.

The Office of the Vice Chancellor will call for new nominations and elections in the near future for SINUSA Executive and Reginald Ngati and his group are free to re-contest if they so wish.

Reginald Ngati and his former executive were also asked to provide a brief report of his stint as SINUSA President to the Secretariat and to hand all keys and any other equipment(s) belonging to SINUSA to SINUSA Secretariat office by close of business on Friday March 2, 2018.

Sadly, they failed to do so.

The Property Department had to be called to change the lock to enable Mr Maenu’u to move into the SINUSA office.

For information of Mr Ngati and his group, my employment contract with SINU as the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Corporate) will lapse on March 31, 2018, and my employer, the SINU Council has already advertised the position.

So their 14 days strike notice is no longer needed.

I have already decided not to re-apply for the position, so I encourage Reginald Ngati and his group to put forward their candidate who will perform better than me.

For me, I have served SICHE (and now SINU) to the best of my ability over the past seven years and it is time I move on.

Finally, I wish to advise all SINU students to consider their purpose of being at SINU and not to allow themselves to be used by Reginald Ngati and his group to pursue their selfish political agenda.

Donald Malasa

Pro Vice-Chancellor [Corporate]

Solomon Islands National University

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