Mayor loses motion of no confidence

-Councillors swing sides during secret ballot vote

Wilson Mamae’s reign as Honiara City Mayor came to an end yesterday after he was defeated in a motion of no confidence.

An overwhelming majority of eight votes went in favour of the motion, which was moved by Councillor for Vavaya ward, Billy Abae. Only four voted for Mr Mamae.

Media was not allowed to cover the proceeding of the debate and election process of the motion.

However, sources inside told Island Sun four councillors from the Mayor’s executive switched sides during the secret ballot voting.

Sources add that also without the crucial votes of the three MPs and ex-officio members, which reportedly helped him win mayorship in June, 2019, Mamae stood no chance against yesterday’s motion.

Deputy Mayor, Francis Idu will be the acting Mayor until the Minister of Home Affairs gives a notice of 14 days to carry out election of new Mayor.

Sources said currently there is no one singled out to claim the mayor spot as three councillors are interested in it as well.

Cr Abae accused the Mayor of ‘very weak’ leadership as well as alleged misconduct and misappropriation of HCC funds for the last 18 months.

One of the highlights of the motion regarding weak leadership is that the City Clerk was allowed to act outside of executive decisions for all matters of the council and for his personal gains.

Evidence include the appointment of the clerk, 2019 staff recruitment, the continuous public calls for the mayor to resign, and the clerk’s control over the executive being the head of administration.

Other evidence under the misconduct and misappropriation of funds include the misuse of petty cash, budget overspending, conflict of interest within HCC, regularity of errors in journal entries, unrecorded and missing PVs, accumulation of workers SINPF contributions, Mayor and Clerks rental entitlements, and others.

Some other latest evidence comprise the illegal sale of HCC lands, poor financial management which gave rise to debt servicing in the 2021 budget, suspicious awarding of contracts, and many more.

Most of the allegations are also featured in the Special Investigation Audit Report on the Accounts and Records of HCC and Public Accounts Committee report.

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