EDITORIAL- Where’s the explanation on Mamara?

A WEEK on and we are yet to hear a Government explanation over the more than $21 million request it received from Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd.

The request was made in a letter that was leaked on social media last Thursday.

Developer Metropolis Pacific asked the Government to pay $21,945,000 for 30 houses, which it expects to complete by the end of June.

This request indicates a behind-the-scene arrangement between the Government and Metropolis that was never made public.

Early this week, the Government’s Communication Unit said it is working on a clarification that will be issued shortly.

The public is still waiting for that.

Yesterday, Opposition leader Mathew Wale weigh into the debate.

He urged the Government to explain the $21 million claim.

He’s what Wale has to say:

“This twist now takes the debate on this project to new heights,” Wale said in a statement.

“For all we know, the agreement was ratified by an Act of the same name passed by Parliament and gazetted around 1st March 1996.

“This year makes it 27 years after signing and one cannot help but wonder whether the agreement is still valid.

“The current investor is probably the second to take up the project in the last four years and the original agreement was with Metropolis Pacific PTE Ltd, a company registered in Singapore.

“The letter of demand on the other hand was issued for Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd, a locally registered company. 

“Are these the same company or not?

“If they are, has the time that has passed affected the agreement at all or not?

“If they are not the same company and given the time lapse, have the terms of the agreement ever been repudiated and what steps had been taken to contextualise the terms?

“Section 2 (2) of the Act requires any amendment to the agreement to be met by appropriate amendments to the Act also.

“Clause 27 of the agreement further requires any changes made to be placed before Parliament.

“This is a safety net providing opportunity for Parliament to review matters such as prices, budgetary constraints and changes in laws amongst others.

“Someone must explain what is going on. Thus it is very important that answers be provided.

“Looking at the claimed figure and the planned total number of houses, this project is going to cost the government big time and this clearly runs contrary to Government promises to focus our limited resources on protecting our country from Covid 19, and growing our resource sector.

“This deal signals a major hole which is going to drain our limited finances if anything.

“I therefore call on the Prime Minister to come out clear and explain the situation.”

This newspaper too joins Wale to call for an urgent explanation.

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