Disbanding of Area Council a curse: Mesepitu

Premier of Western Province Christian Burley Mesepitu.
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PREMIER of Western Province says the disbanding of Area Council is a curse that is haunting the country since the system changed back in the 1990s.

Christian Burley Mesepitu said the establishment of Area councils back in the 1980s was a blessing as it brought the government close to the people.

He said the Area Council was a focal point for rural communities to interact with the national government.

But, Mesepitu said the disbanding of Area Council was a very bad move by the government then as it distance the government and people in the rural areas.

He adds that the disbanding of the Area Council was also questionable it was passed by a mere Cabinet decision as an approach to diminish financial relief sever communities from the formal state apparatus.

“Note that almost 80 to 90 percent of Solomon Islands population live in rural areas whilst the National Government is located in Honiara, so the culling of the area council leaves Provincial Government as the only form of government that is close to the people.

“It is in my view that the closest we can access and link our traditional governance system through the chiefs is to recognise their roles by providing a special position in the area council so that matter and agenda pertaining to traditional governance can be addressed through a formal government system which is the area council, however it was abolished in the 1990s hence it left a vacuum or disconnection of traditional governance representatives in the formal government structure,” Mesepitu said.