Fish sellers with dishonest scales – Honiara Central Market

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DEAR EDITOR, Honiara City Council Mayor, Andrew Mua speaking to Island Sun issue of 10/9/18 stated that an Ordinance to ensure that fish sellers at the Central Market are not deceiving customers with false scale reading is in the making.

Mr. Mua related that if you weigh fish on different scales, you can see that the price will vary which results in some customers purchasing fish at a far higher price than expected.

If only the Honiara City Mayor has performed his home work, he would have known that there is an existing act titled: The Weights and Measures Act (Laws of Solomon Islands).

This is an Act to make provision with respect to weights and Measures, for the protection of consumers purchasing commodities by weight or measure and for matters incidental thereto and connected therewith.

Apparently, Mr. Mua is well aware of the fact that certain fish sellers are using faulty scales at the Central Market.

This is a long standing issue ever since the very first scales were introduced in Honiara. This was the very reason why the National Parliament legislate the Weights and Measures Act.

I do not understand why the Honiara City Council being a sub national Government should find it hard to enforce the provisions of the above act to avoid making excuses.

Should the HCC makes its own Weights and Measures ordinance inorder to implement it successfully? Or are there any difficulties with HCC enforcing this piece of legislation?

HCC’s law enforcement is weak, thus they cannot take the lead role in ensuring that all weighing instruments such as scales used in trade be tested regularly to verify that they perform to their purported function.

A standard weight should be deposited in the Central Market Office to monitor and make daily check on scales that have been intentionally tampered with by fish vendors to illegally increase their earnings.

This is a form of fraud and those fish sellers involved in this kind of activity should be charged by the RSIP police officers stationed at the Central Market Office. In law, fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair gain.

The Central Market area has been a host venue to many illegal activities: sale of kwaso, marijuana, cigarette rolls, betelnuts, the use of dishonest scales and pick-pocketing right under the nose of the HCC security officers.

I think the task of policing the market should be performed with minimal cost: HCC is collecting market and parking fees daily; thus some of those moneys should help with policing and security at the Central Market inorder to weed out any criminal activities.

The Bible warns us against the use of dishonest weights (scales) and measures with the following scriptures:                                                                                                                                                                         Differing weights and differing measure, both of them are abominable to the Lord.'' (Proverbs 20: 10). `A false balance is an abomination to the Lord, but a just weight is His delight''. (Proverbs 11:1).                                                                                                        You shall not have in your bag differing weights, a large and a small. “You shall not have in your differing measures, a large and a small. `You shall have a full and a just weight, you shall have a full and just measure, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 25: 13-16).

The use of dishonest scales is abominable to God: and being abominable is dreadful, repulsive or offensive to God.

Fish vendors who engage in that kind of activity are actually cheating, committing a fraud, and a covenant breaker, and those certainly are criminal activities which should require the attention of the Police for legal prosecution.

Whenever I buy fish at the Central Market, I always make sure that I reweigh my fish on another scale: on five occasions I have had to return my purchase of fish to the respective vendors, and telling them that their scale is faulty.

AM Junia Port Adam,

Small Malaita