Accusations implicating the Deputy Prime Minister and East Malaita Member of Parliament Manasseh Maelanga for misusing East Road maintenance funds are groundless and were mere attempts to discredit his leadership by disgruntled rivals.
Mr Maelanga in a statement said he is aware of those ignorant individuals that failed to appreciate the road expansion projects into the Highlands of his constituency that now relieved the previous transportation burden to his people.
Never before in the history of East Malaita constituency has any new road been built and Maelanga said his ultimate aim is to make sure new roads are built with any possible project funding that benefits the remote highlands communities.
On accusations that he misused road maintenance funds of $4.424 million without results, Maelanga said those claims were fabricated only to discredit his efforts to build new roads in his constituency by ignorant rivals.
He urged the claimants to prove their accusations with evidence that he misused funds and to stop spreading lies to influence public perception.
Maelanga said the East Malaita road is approximately more than 40 kilometres that cuts through the island from the West to East running through valleys and mountains that cannot be properly maintained with a few million dollars.
“Those accusers need to gather complete information on the cost of different components on road works from engineers and other qualified authorities to understand how much it cost to build new roads or maintain existing ones. They just don’t go to Facebook and express their jealousy without accurate information,” he said.
On accusations implicating that he influenced awarding of contracts, Maelanga said all due tender processes have been applied and it is none of his business to tell the Government Central Tender Board (CTB) to award contracts to preferred companies.
“To assume that I did that is simply ridiculous,” he said.
Maelanga explained that to fix a certain section of a road, for example from Dala to Atori and from Nafinua to Kwaibaita with $4.424 million is insufficient.
“It will only meet fuel, labour and machinery costs plus perhaps re-gravelling without proper drainage and bridge repairs,” he said.
“This will result in roads not lasting more than six months given the high rainfall level in that region,” he added.
Maelanga said the Facebook commentators appear to be dreaming from their comfort zones trying to score points and linking the East Malaita road with the current MARA Government’s standoff with the DCGA Government.
“I invited these so-called Facebook commentators to visit the East Malaita Constituency to see and appreciate the challenges that affected the East Malaita road network rather than barking unnecessarily in the media,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister encouraged his opponents to report any allegations to police and other relevant authorities for investigation rather than orchestrating unfounded claims.
–GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATION UNIT