HONIARA City Council (HCC) Mayor, Mr Andrew Mua, has been accused over issues relating to the Panatina Ward (Ward 12) by-election.
Unhappy Ward members hit back at Mua claiming the Mayor is trying to blind the public over the delay in holding a by-election for their Ward.
The Panatina Ward has been without a Councillor since the passing away of late Richard Safue in 2016. There was no replacement and since then numerous calls have been made on the Council to facilitate a by-election.
Ward members said their right to be represented in the Council has been “robbed” for too long. Others claim they have been left out of important services delivered by the Council.
Earlier, when responding to a call, Mayor Mua said there will be no by-election for the Ward as the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) which is responsible for funding a by-election for the Ward has not provided the Council funding to cater for this.
He said the MHA has suggested to the Council to use the $150,000 it provided as service grant to run the by-election and that the money will be replaced, but the Council was advised not to divert the money to any use other than for the Council’s service.
Over the weekend a former City Council worker, who requested anonymity, said it appears Mua tried to hide the truth from Ward members.
He said facilitating a by-election for the Ward is the responsibility of the Council and the MHA is only responsible for funding fresh elections.
He said the Council’s Finance Division has allocated funds for the by-election in 2016 when the Council completed it registration and nominations but was halted by Mua. There were no reasons provided.
He said he supports calls from Ward members for a by-election saying Panatina Ward, in East Honiara, is one of the biggest Wards inside Honiara City.
He said it is the right of Ward members to be represented in the Council and to benefit from the Council’s funding support.
He said for the last two year and six months, in terms of funding, Panatina Ward missed out about $1.1 million in a form of Christmas fund, independence fund, social culture fund, advisory fund and quarterly grant.