By Mike Puia
CHIEFS from Auluta in East Malaita, Malaita province, have welcomed the government’s proposed Traditional Governance & Custom Facilitation Bill 2018.
President of the Auluta Council of Chiefs, Rocky Tisah, said the bill is timely as traditional leaders need to be empowered to do their work in these times.
The bill, designed under the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation and Peace, provide for the recognition of traditional governance system, amending the Provincial Government Act 1997.
The proposed law, now before the government, looks to empower and allow tribal chiefs and traditional leaders to participate in decision making on social and economic matters of the country.
It looks to provide a framework for the promotion and preservation of traditional norms, protocols, values and practices.
The proposed legislation also aims to provide a framework for the institutionalisation, management and regulation of traditional governance systems.
Once enacted, it will enable the traditional governance system to become part of the formal governance system with the intention of preserving the customary governance system.
Tisah said the government must make the bill a law as this is required by the national constitution.
He said at present traditional leaders are powerless and only an act of parliament will bring back the powers traditional leaders have.
Chief Tisah said for 40 years traditional leaders have been ignored the important role they play particularly in the rural areas.
He said passing the bill is an urgent matter.
Tisah said the bill shown be ready so that provinces that are ready can proceed and go with it in the own style of ruling.