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Honiara
Friday, December 9, 2022

MPA calls on government to hasten making Copen illegal

BY IRWIN ANGIKIThe former provincial ward member...

Police: no arrest on north Guale burning incident

BY JENNIFER KUSAPAPOLICE confirmed on December 8...
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SORE BOOTED

Former Honiara City Council Clerk Rence Sore. Photo: Charles Kadamana

HCC terminates controversial Clerk’s contract

BY ALFRED PAGEPITU

THE Honiara City Council (HCC) Executive Committee has terminated the contract of Rence Sore as City Clerk.

Deputy Mayor Francis Idu told Island Sun yesterday the decision was reached on Tuesday, with Mr Sore receiving the termination letter yesterday.

Sore is being investigated over allegations of corruption. However, Idu said HCC executive were in one-mind to get rid of him.

Sore did not return phone calls made to him last night for comment.

Deputy Mayor Idu said the executive is doing what former Mayor, Wilson Mamae hesitated to do.

“Seven Councillors have decided to terminated Sore after the Councillors Committee members meeting on Tuesday 6th April 2021 held at the HCC Chamber decide to terminate Sore’s contract as the Clerk.”

Idu said the decision is based on the grounds that there is sufficient evidence to terminate the City Clerk; one of the main reasons is illegal sale of Council land PN. 192010-33.

“HCC Legal team stressed that any decision to terminate the City Clerk must come with good grounds to avoid any repercussion.”

Idu said despite this the executive committee favoured terminating the City Clerk with immediate effect.

“There were two options that were considered, and that is either to suspend the City Clerk and allow for investigations to be carried out or to immediately terminate the Clerk.

“We the executive committee’s decision now is to terminate the appointment of the City Clerk immediately.

“During the discussion on the motion put forward to terminate the Clerk, Cr Eddie Siapu stated that it would be in the best interest of the Council and the public to terminate the City Clerk.

“Most of the councillors who joined the meeting shared the same sentiment that termination of the City Clerk needs to be done immediately to clear way forward for the council.

“The executive committee resolves to terminate the appointment of the City Clerk with the immediate effect based on reasons stated on April 6, 2021 meeting.”

Idu said the executive committee resolved to revoke and remove the City Clerk’s signature from the Council’s Bank Account, and resolution was passed by majority.

Meanwhile, Idu said they have appointed the current Deputy City Clerk to be the acting City Clerk until such time a new Clerk is appointed by the full Council.

Present at the meeting were Councillors Francis Idu, Dorah Huapii, Robert Oge, Mostyn Saferio, Clement Terewauri, Luciano Sade and Eddie Siapu.

Ex-officio present were Paul Inifiri, William Floyd and Vincent Kohata.

Malaita PS challenges Public Service over ‘unlawful’ suspension

By EDDIE OSIFELO

MALAITA Provincial Secretary Fredrick Fa’abasua is challenging his suspension.

The province said Fa’asubua will initiate legal proceeding unless the Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Public Service, Nego Sisiolo “withdraws the unlawful suspension on him”.

Premier Daniel Suidani confirmed this in a statement yesterday after PS Sisiolo issued the suspension letter to Fa’abasua last Friday.

Suidani said Sisiolo accused Fa’abasua of financial allegations that were “untrue, and in the same letter, he ordered the suspension of our PS, effective immediately”.

“Unfortunately, in doing so, Sisiolo did not follow the process set out in the Public Service Act and its Regulations,” Suidani said.

“The Public Service Act and its regulations have a specific legal process set out, by which such accusations can be taken up and acted upon,” he added.

Suidani said this legal process provides the opportunity for natural justice, and this process was not, repeat was not, followed by Sisiolo.

He said the Public Service Act sets out a process by which any officer alleging misconduct and having supervisory responsibility over the PS must have a report about this accusation filed to the PS of Public Service. 

The PS of Public Service in turn must give a minimum period of seven days to the officer to respond.

“None of these steps have happened or if it had happened the PS has not been aware of it, and therefore our PS has decided to put these issues before the Permanent Secretary of Public Service for him to do the right thing by following the clear process that is set down.

“Soon these matters will be at court but for now I will say the following:

  1. PS Fa’abasua has been an exemplary public officer and a real servant to Malaita people.
  2. His hard work and integrity has led to the repayment of millions of dollars of outstanding debt left by previous provincial executives.
  3. His dedication and faithfulness have seen the charging of fair business licenses on the logging companies ripping our people’s land.
  4. His careful diligence has given pride and hope to the people of Malaita Province.”

Suidani said it is sad after all this work, two different ministries have tried to remove PS Fa’abasua from serving the people of Malaita Province.

Last year in December the Ministry of Provincial Government demanded the removal of PS Fa’abasua back to Honiara.

Suidani said no reason was given in this demand and the PS kept serving the people of Malaita.

He alleged this current action by Sisiolo from Ministry of Public Service is similarly motivated. 

“He (Sisiolo) is trying to remove PS from Malaita Province, this time by trying to suspend him without any proper evidence put against the PS and without even complying with his own regulations.

“I am not sure of the real reason for these constant attacks on PS Fa’abasua, but the timing of this action by Sisiolo will have some severe effects on the people and province of Malaita,” he said.

Suidani said his Executive is scheduled to meet today Tuesday, March 16, to pass the budget for Malaita Province.

“If Sisiolo’s action succeeds, then our PS will be suspended when he should be helping the Executive pass this budget. Malaita Province will then have no budget to spend this year and this will have serious impact on the people of Malaita.

“In light of this seriousness, I appeal to Sisiolo for the withdrawal of the order to immediately suspend PS Fa’abasua. If he has genuine concerns for upholding the rule of law, I invite him to proceed as set out in the Public Service Act,” he said.

Suidani said the PS of Public Service without any good reason is attempting to discipline the PS of Malaita Province, yet he is allowing a person who has been found to be a foreigner by the High Court of Solomon Islands to continue holding senior sensitive political jobs in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“That person too has contravened the Electoral Acts of this country yet the leaders of this country including the PS of Public Service are turning a blind eye on that situation. 

“The PS of Public Service needs to explain that to the people of Malaita.  Why is he tolerating wilful and reckless behaviour by a foreigner and harassing a national without due process?” he asked.

However, PS Sisiolo said the suspension decision is due to serious allegations around unaccountable sum of government revenue in which the PS is alleged to have directly involved in.

“As part of protecting the credibility of the service and upholding better governance, my office deemed it is prudent to suspend the officer from duty to allow investigation into the allegations.

“As usual, the PS will be accorded natural justice process as we pursue the disciplinary process,” he said.

PS Sisiolo said the incumbent of the office of the provincial secretary is an extremely important public office because it administers service delivery that affects the affairs of the rural people.

“Therefore any decision that will affect the said office expected HR capacity is accorded thorough thinking,” he said.

A statement from the Ministry of Provincial Government and Institutional Strengthening (MPGIS) yesterday stated that the Provincial Secretary for Malaita Province is suspended based on allegations raised by former disgruntled Malaita workers.

“Based on documents submitted, the Ministry of Public Service (MPS) perused those matters reported by former employees. Based on the allegations, the MPS carried out a preliminary investigation and decided to suspend the Public Officer to give way for a full investigation.

“These cases were brought forward by concerned and aggrieved citizens and not in any way reflect any attempts by the MPGIS or the Solomon Islands Government to tarnish either the PS or the Malaita Provincial Government,” the statement said.

MPA calls on government to hasten making Copen illegal

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Copen Drug. Photo Supplied.

BY IRWIN ANGIKI

The former provincial ward member for Wagina, Ward 1 Choiseul province is calling on the national government to hasten making the so-called new drug – Copen illegal.

Mofete Tupou, while welcoming Health Minister Culwick Togamana introducing the Copen issue into parliament early this week, believes that time is a crucial factor.

Wagina school teacher Mr Eribati also supports this call, saying he has witnessed his students’ academic performance dragged down by Copen.

And, a Solomon Islander living in Kiribati warns the Copen problem can get ‘very serious’ if government overlooks it.

A community leader’s dilemma

One obstacle handicapping leaders from stopping Copen usage and production in their communities is Copen not yet being nationally recognised as an illegal entity, or even as a drug, Mr Tupou said.

He shares that Copen is normalised in his community, Wagina – it is sold and consumed openly by both children and adults.

Tupou says he has received stiff resistance from many in his community when he voiced plans to create a by-law against Copen.

“Early this year, I shared my plan to create a by-law targeting the production and usage of Copen and received hostile reception from a lot of my people here, including parents, relatives of users and producers, even elders of the communities here.

“In our deliberations and arguments over the Copen issue, I always end up cornered without any answer when they ask me if Copen is illegal.

“They have a valid point because Copen is not illegal, and this is because it has not yet fully caught the attention of the national government and relevant authorities.

“But, I am saying that now is the time to act. Monday this week the Health Minister introduced Copen to the parliament. What we would like to hear next is it has been gazetted as an illegal entity.”

Tupou says it is difficult to remove Copen from his community because a ‘majority’ of people on Wagina use the substance, more so, many rely on it as an income earner.

A teacher’s sad observation

Eribati, with 20 years of teaching experience, says students using Copen are lagging behind in their education compared to those who are not users.

He said since 2018 when he first saw Copen in his community, he has seen bright students slide down the academic ladder once they got hooked to Copen.

“It had struck me that some of my top students started performing low, and later I would learn that they were addicted to the new drug that we were just starting to experience in 2018.

“Following years, this sad trend continued and grew worse as more students became hooked to Copen. Now, my top students are those that do not indulge in Copen use.

“In class it is very clear. Student users would become restless and agitated after the first period, and would excuse themselves to visit the loo, but we all know that they are going out for a Copen dose.

“When I tried suggesting banning Copen to be included in school rules, I met resistance from other parents, guardians and other staff. Their main argument is Copen is not illegal according to Solomon Islands laws.

“So, I took it upon myself to make it my classroom rule. I told students that I will not tolerate Copen in my class.

“Government should make it a law to ban Copen, its use and production, so that it will enable us to incorporate it into our school rule.”

Grim warning from Kiribati

Tupou says Copen was introduced into the country by Kiribati Solomon Islanders who travelled over to mainland Kiribati and brought back the substance plus the idea to produce it with them.

He puts this around 2017.

A Solomon Islander living in Kiribati who asks only to be named as Mary warns the Copen problem must not be taken lightly.

Speaking to Island Sun this week, she said in Kiribati ‘Couben’ [Copen] is rife and is recognised by communities there that it is a problem, allowed to reach an uncontrollable stage by authorities who had overlooked it.

“I am not sure if it is illegal or not. One thing for sure is although it is very common here, people deal it under cover.

“Users range from children to adults. While it is a stimulant that can be used in kava sessions, and other social gatherings, Couben has been blamed for low school performance of children, domestic violence, petty domestic nuisance such as stealing, health problems, and is also rumoured to be the cause behind some oral cancer cases here.

“Solomon Islands is still at the stage in which it can turn the tide on Couben. But it would mean national government and relevant authorities step in and make the necessary legislations, and fast.

“Do not leave communities, families and individuals to fight it alone,” Mary warns.

Meanwhile, Island Sun had reported in early November on the extent of Copen’s spread in the country.

Apart from Temotu and Makira-Ulawa provinces, Copen has penetrated schools and communities across the country.

In Honiara, where Copen is reportedly most prevalent, even prestigious Government and church-run schools are facing challenges with the substance.

In Renbel province, it was reported that Copen is suspected to be connected to the death of a youth earlier this year.

Mass disciplinary suspension of students has been reported across many of Honiara’s city council and government schools. In the Western province, a similar situation was reported in one of the major schools there earlier this year.

The ministry of women and youth (MWYCFA) had told Island Sun that government’s approach was to leave the Copen problem to be dealt with at the family and community level. [This is bound to change after the Ministry of Health (MHMS) announced in parliament it would investigate Copen]

Police has also admitted that they cannot do much except do community awareness because Copen is not recognised by law to be a drug, nor an illegal one.

Copen is taken orally, and is produced using household items such as colgate and food colouring.

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Information is power! Solomon Islands needs a freedom of information law ASAP

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Corruption-Activity-Youth-Anti-Corruption-and-Integrity-Dialogue

More than 100 years ago, an American Supreme Court judge reflected on corruption and transparency and proclaimed that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”. These words still hold true today. Shining a light on corruption – exposing it to the world – is the best way of trying to make sure that corrupt people cannot get away with their dodgy conduct by hiding their actions.

In practice, one of the best ways of shining sunlight on corrupt practices is through a public right to information. The right to information (RT)), or freedom of information (FOI) as it is referred to in some countries, refers to the right of all persons to access information held by public bodies. In Solomon Islands, Article 12 of the National Constitutions provides for the freedom to receive and communicate ideas and information without interference, as part of the right to freedom of expression.

Article 12 of our Constitution reflects the principle that all information held by governments and public institutions is public information that should be freely available and should only be withheld from the public for legitimate reasons. By giving the public the RIGHT to receive information about the public money the Government spends, the contracts it enters into, and the services it provides, the public – and the media – can use that information to hold officials accountable for their conduct.

The right to information is globally recognized as an integral part of the fundamental right to freedom of expression. This right can be found in article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The UN Sustainable Development Goals recognize this explicitly – SDG-16, Target 16.10 calls on all governments to “ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements”. Article 10 of the United Nations Convention against Corruption also requires States parties to take measures to enhance transparency in public administration, including information on its organization, functioning and decision-making processes.

More than 125 countries around the world have some form of FOI law, which allows the public to access government information and requires government bodies to proactively and regularly publish certain types of information. In the Pacific, the Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau and Vanuatu have passed FOI laws, while the Federated States of Micronesia and Papua New Guinea have developed a draft FOI law and policy respectively, which are currently under review.

Solomon Islands has been considering FOI legislation for more than a decade, in order to operationalise the fundamental right that is already found in Article 12 of our National Constitution. In 2008, the Solomon Islands Ombudsman co-hosted a Regional FOI Meeting for Pacific Policy-Makers in Honiara, in partnership with UNDP and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat. Since that time, the Office of the Ombudsman has spear-headed efforts to work with other Government partners to develop a policy or draft law that will enshrine a right to information for all Solomon Islanders and impose duties on Government bodies to regularly publish information such as their budget and expenditures, contracts with third parties, grants and other government funding allocated to partners, project implementation reports, and the like.

On Friday, the world will celebrate International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) which is commemorated on 9 December. IACD is not just a day of celebration but a day of action – an opportunity to reflect on what needs to be done to stop corruption in Solomon Islands.

One very practical approach is to pass an FOI Act as a matter of priority. To that end, the National Parliament and Provincial Assemblies are encouraged to work with the Ombudsman, and other anti-corruption offices such as the new Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption (SIICAC) and the Office of the Auditor General, to push forward with the current draft FOI Bill that the Ombudsman has been working on for many years. Members of the public can also call on leaders to make this right a reality.

Public information collected with public money for public purposes should be accessible by the public! Every person has a right to know what is being done by their government – an FOI law can make that a reality and is long overdue for Solomon Islands people.

BY THE OFFICE OF OMBUDSMAN

Police: no arrest on north Guale burning incident

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

POLICE confirmed on December 8 that they are yet to make any arrest relating to the burning incident at Valuado village, north Guadalcanal on December 3.

However, police say suspects have been identified.

Police in an earlier statement said officers at Tetere police station are investigating the case.

The statement said the motive behind the arson incident is related to land and property which both parties had pursued over ownership rights.

Police call on the parties to refrain from taking any further retaliation but allow police to deal with the case.

Police also said that it is a really sad incident where the victims fled from their homes with only the clothes they wore. They returned only to find their homes and properties burned to ashes.

Police are working closely with responsible stakeholders for assistance where required.

Forest ministry looks forward to fulfilling two 2022 DCGA objectives

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MP for Savo/Russell Dickson Mua and Minister for Ministry of Forestry and Research.

By EDDIE OSIFELO

MINISTRY of Forest and Research is still looking forward to implementing the two Redirection Policy Area Objectives of DCGA for 2022.

They are:

  1. Downstream Processing Programme
  2. Sustainable Logging Development Programme

Speaking Parliament yesterday on the 2023 Appropriation Bill 2022, Minister for MFR, Dickson Mua Panakitasi said that will continue into 2023.

He said this should contribute to the national economy and revenue generation to support the SIG Budget and that should continue to address the rural livelihoods and health of our people.

Mua said Under the Downstream Processing Programme, the Ministry is to establishing a Timber Yard at Noro to support resource owners, who want to export sawn timber from Western and Choiseul Provinces.

He said currently the architectural drawings have been completed.

“BOQ completed and paid.

“Contractor determined,” he said.

Mua said just waiting for Solomon Islands Ports Authority (SIPA) approval of the Proposal of the Timber yard and release of a site at Noro Port area at Noro.

“To meet an Auditor who would be auditing the SITPEA members annually on their operations in search for FSC Group Certificate so that sawn timber can be purchased at higher prices.

“To support freight subsidy by VATA members to transport sawn timber to Honiara Henderson Timber Yard for drying, packaging and then export,” he said.

“We have completed the improvement work at the Henderson Timber Yard and the Fencing of the Botanical Garden,” he added.

Furthermore, under the Sustainable Logging Development Programme, Mua said his Ministry is going to implement the: – completion of the review of the Forest Resources and Timber Utilization Act.

“To date, we have received parts of the Forestry Bill and already had exchanges with AG Chambers on queries.

“I believe the Forestry Bill will be brought before the Parliament in Year 2023 as 2022 is coming to its end shortly. This is a one-off activity,” he added.

Further to that, Mua said monitoring of round log shipments support the partnership project with the IFMP (Integrated Forest Management Project) in 5 different Sites in 5 different Provinces across the country on establishing protected areas and establishment of nurseries.

“Procurement of boats for monitoring, – Relocation/transfer of 25,000 plus plant specimen from Fiji to Honiara national Herbarium around mid-2023.

“Supporting national reforestation programme – establishing REDD+ Policy and REDD+ Regulation

“Construction of plant drying shed attached to the National Herbarium,” he said.

Isabel without PPC

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Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

Chiefs in Isabel province have raised concern over the long delay of the Provincial Police Commander position in the province.

One of the village chiefs George Basil said policing in Isabel is poor, reports forwarded from the communities to Buala police fall on deaf ears; thus the Isabel police needs a leader that is active and recognises issues affecting communities.

Basil calls on the Police Commissioner to quickly deal with the issue and send the right person to the position.

Meanwhile Police Commissioner Mostyn Mangau assured the Isabel people that once formalities are finalised, police will send the person to head Isabel police.

He said currently an acting PPC is there and he is mandated to take control of the office according to the Police Act.

He said they are still waiting on the Police and Prison Service for endorsement and as soon as that process is done, then arrangements will be done for the new PPC.

Magistrate talks out against stealing

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

PRINCIPAL Magistrate Leonard Chite has reminded citizens that there is no gain in using one’s position to illegally acquire Constituency funds for personal gain.

He made the statement when sentencing the former Constituency Development Officer of Temotu Nende.

Chite said everyone makes mistakes, but it takes the wise to learn and take constructive steps and measures to become a better person.

“If anything that I must strongly emphasize on is learn to appreciate what is genuinely acquired that what is pleasing but unlawful for every work of the hands will soon be revealed and when they do bad works normally attracts severe punishments.

“I hereby make bold to state that those who find passion in stealing from the government or acquiring monies from abuse of positions are journey bound to prison. There is more to life that indulging oneself in act of official corruption,” Chite said.

Chite explained that the offence of official corruption is very serious, in that the defendant was vested with responsibility to look after and administer constituency Development fund for the Constituency. Clearly, the role encompassed, although indirectly, looking after the welfare and financial limitations, as well as the greater need of the less fortunate, including other community-based development plans.

He adds acquiring that money in the guise of financing a housing scheme project for his own family is an outright disrespect, breach of trust and lack of empathy to those he promised to se

SELESO’S MISTAKE

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Member of Parliament for South Guadalcanal, Rollen Seleso

Western province suffers 6 months of limbo, MPGIS admits wrong decision

BY BEN BILUA

Just a week before provincial elections and the Western province is being told it was wronged by the national government.

The province had to endure six months of no provincial leadership.

Government now admits that its decision to dissolve the Western provincial executive on June 13 this year is null and void.

The Ministry of provincial government and institutional strengthening (MPGIS) is reportedly working to resolve this mistake.

On June 13, Minister of MPGIS Rollen Seleso ordered Western and Choiseul provincial executives to be dissolved while giving directives for the two provinces’ admins to take the lead in provincial business.

The Order was legalised by a Gazette Order.

Following the Gazette Order, Western provincial executive led by their Speaker Adrian Gina questioned the Ministry based on the legality of the decision.

Correspondence went back and forth until MPGIS became silent.

Six months after the gazette order, MPGIS with the help of the Attorney General’s Office realised that there were faults and that part of the gazette order was null and void.

Seleso confirmed to Speaker Gina that the decision was unprecedented and that a revised gazette order will be made to set a precedent for future circumstances. 

According to reports, a revised gazette order was published yesterday.

Report states, the revised gazette order will to allow the executive government to act as caretaker until new government is formalised early next year – Meaning former Premier, Christian Mesepitu will perform his role as caretaker premier until a new government is formed on the 4th of January 2023 while former executives will be compensated – Backdate all their entitlements since the immature gazette order was made by Minister of Province Government on June 13.

In an interview with Island Sun Gizo, Gina said the full executive will not be able to take up their role as election’s fixed date is on 14th of this month which is Wednesday next week.

“They don’t revoke the whole gazette order but part that will allow Western Provincial Executive to reinstate and perform their duties as caretaker government.

“I believe revised gazette order will replace the word ‘dissolve’ and insert ‘caretaker’. That is my best guess because I’m yet to see the revised gazette order documents.

“So, in practical, Mesepitu will hold on to power until the next government is formed after the election, then formally hand over the power to the new premier.

“For the executives, they will be compensated,” he explained.

Gina said MPGIS has “messed things up for Western Province”.

“This is the issue that I questioned prior to the June 13th Gazette Order. My correspondence with ministry and Attorney General was to allow the executive to act as caretaker until new government comes in but my argument was rejected.

“Western Province had suffered for six months because of this unfounded decision.

“Business houses suffered as well as the people,” he said.

Outspoken leader of Western Province, Freedom Tozaka shared similar sentiments saying that the Ministry of Provincial Government has been toying with the people of Western Province.

“This is a good reminder for the government to stop jumping the gun.

“Our people have been suffering for six months because of our leaders’ ignorance and this is not a good precedence,” he said.

Magistrate talks out against stealing

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

PRINCIPAL Magistrate Leonard Chite has reminded citizens that there is no gain in using one’s position to illegally acquire Constituency funds for personal gain.

He made the statement when sentencing the former Constituency Development Officer of Temotu Nende.

Chite said everyone makes mistakes, but it takes the wise to learn and take constructive steps and measures to become a better person.

“If anything that I must strongly emphasize on is learn to appreciate what is genuinely acquired that what is pleasing but unlawful for every work of the hands will soon be revealed and when they do bad works normally attracts severe punishments.

“I hereby make bold to state that those who find passion in stealing from the government or acquiring monies from abuse of positions are journey bound to prison. There is more to life that indulging oneself in act of official corruption,” Chite said.

Chite explained that the offence of official corruption is very serious, in that the defendant was vested with responsibility to look after and administer constituency Development fund for the Constituency. Clearly, the role encompassed, although indirectly, looking after the welfare and financial limitations, as well as the greater need of the less fortunate, including other community-based development plans.

He adds acquiring that money in the guise of financing a housing scheme project for his own family is an outright disrespect, breach of trust and lack of empathy to those he promised to serve.

Sakui urges public to support HCC look after Kukum Market

One-of-the-two-Kukum-Market-building-facility-that-was-recently-opened

BY NED GAGAHE

Honiara City Council’s (HCC) Market Manager Nelson Sakui has called on public, city residents and market users to respect and support the HCC look after the newly reopened Kukum Market.

Mr Sakui made the call following the upgrade and reopening of the market on Friday last week.

“I call on the general public, residents and market users to cooperate and let us work together and take responsibility by keeping the market facility.

“It’s a new facility, costs a lot of money, moreover, it is where we buy and sell food, the hygiene of this place is very important. 

“The opening marked what people had anticipated. It took HCC two and half years to upgrade the market.

“It is expected that the market will ease up the challenges that HCC is facing in the city to remove illegal vendors from the streets, also the congestion that we are facing at the Central Market.

“After the reopening of the Kukum Market, Fishing Village Market will be closed. We are hereby encouraging vendors to come forward and use the new Kukum market facilities.

“We will be tough in terms of ordinance at the new Kukum Market but it comes back to people as we relied heavily on them to work cooperatively with HCC to achieve this.

“Now that the market has reopened, I would like to encourage, people, city residents and users to make full use of the opportunity to come forward to market our crops and vegetables at this new Kukum Market facilities.

“On that note, I encourage users to look after these facilities. We must change from our careless attitudes towards the properties of the market.”

The market was opened for public as of Monday, December 5.

Man accused of burning his parent’s house deny charge

BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

A man alleged of setting fire to his parents’ house in 2020 at the Goldridge area has pleaded not guilty and a pre-trial hearing was conducted on December 7.

Nelson Vajua is charged with one count of arson c/s 319 (a) of the Penal Code.

Yesterday prosecution and defence lawyers set the trial date to February 13-17, 2023.

Prosecution alleged that he burnt the house belonging to his parents at Vatumauri Village, Gold Ridge area in Central Guadalcanal on October 16, 2020.

This case has been delayed for quite a while because the defendant Vajua had not been attending court, thus a warrant of arrest was issued on the defendant.

He was re-arrested and placed in custody awaiting his trial. Public Prosecutor Samuel Tovosia is appearing for the crown on this matter

Latest Stories

MPA calls on government to hasten making Copen illegal

0
BY IRWIN ANGIKIThe former provincial ward member for Wagina, Ward 1 Choiseul province is calling on the national government to hasten making the so-called...

Information is power! Solomon Islands needs a freedom of information law ASAP

0
More than 100 years ago, an American Supreme Court judge reflected on corruption and transparency and proclaimed that “sunlight is the best disinfectant”. These...

Police: no arrest on north Guale burning incident

0
BY JENNIFER KUSAPAPOLICE confirmed on December 8 that they are yet to make any arrest relating to the burning incident at Valuado village, north...

Forest ministry looks forward to fulfilling two 2022 DCGA objectives

0
By EDDIE OSIFELOMINISTRY of Forest and Research is still looking forward to implementing the two Redirection Policy Area Objectives of DCGA for 2022.They are:Downstream...

Isabel without PPC

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPAChiefs in Isabel province have raised concern over the long delay of the Provincial Police Commander position in the province.One of the...

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