Former lands commissioners appointed to the new lands board

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By Alfred Sasako

 

TWO former Lands Commissioners have reportedly been appointed to the Lands Board, sources told Island Sun on Tuesday.

Silva Dunge and Fred Soaki were appointed by the Minister of Lands, Survey and Housing, Hon Jimmy Marau, the sources said.

Both men held the position as Commissioners of Land in the early 2000s. In their terms in office, members of public and in some cases the corporate businesses have often complained about alleged under the table land dealings as well as lost files.

The sources said their appointments have placed the acting Commissioner of Lands, Allen McNeil, in a difficult position especially in his role to clean up the mess in land allocations in urban areas both in Honiara and other provincial centres.

According to eyewitnesses, Mr Dunge and Mr Soaki were allegedly seen frequenting the premises of the Ministry of Lands, Survey and Housing prior to their appointments.

“Their appointments are now seen to be in direct conflict with what the Commissioner of Lands is doing, particularly in dealing with land acquisition and allocations in urban centres.

“With executive powers behind them, the two Board Members may not cooperate with the Commissioner and so we may go back to square one in land allocation matters,” the sources said.

It is understood Mr Dunge’s and Soaki’s appointments have been gazetted. Neither men could be contacted for comments.