Local chief praises Traditional Customary Bill

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BY LORETTA BRIGIDIA MANELE

A concerned citizen has voiced that the Traditional Customary Bill, if passed in the next parliament sitting will give chiefs more power and benefit resource owners.

Mr Henry Kahui from East Are’Are, Malaita province, said being a chief’s son, he believes the bill is one that chiefs are looking forward to.

Kahui said the Traditional Customary bill will give chiefs, house of chiefs and council of chiefs more power to carry out their mandates, pointing out the case of a prospecting investor’s desire to develop resources as an example.

He explained that should that be the case in the provinces, once the bill is passed chiefs would share 50-50 benefits with the developer.

Kahui stressed that this bill would also benefit land and resource owners.

Speaking of resource owners, he said that logging nowadays does not benefit resource owners as compared to the licensing holder, the company, government, province and middle men who he refers to as the five groups of people who benefit the most from logging operations in Solomon Islands.

“Tribe and resource owners are only given 15 percent by government so when this is shared among us, some of us will only receive $10, $20, $50. The lucky ones receive $500 to $1000. This is reality even when money from royalty is shared,” said Kahui.

“I see the Traditional Customary Bill as one of the best bills for the benefit of our resource owners and our traditional chiefs.”

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