Island Sun newspaper leads protest against alleged corruption and unfairness in local media body
BY BARNABAS MANEBONA
ISLAND Sun a financial member of the Media Association of Solomon Islands (MASI) is taking the lead to question the process of the recent Special General Meeting (SGM) in which two new officers were announced over the weekend as MASI’s new President and Vice-president.
Island Sun who also claims a high number of MASI financial members were dissatisfied with the process and way in which MASI Executive members conducted the SGM on Saturday, February 17, 2018.
An Island Sun staff said on Saturday, she received a phone call from her colleague telling her to hurry to the meeting venue at St Barnabas Melanesia House because all votes from Honiara residents via email were disqualified.
Another financial member from a local TV station in Honiara says it is their Sabbath day and they are quite upset that the election of the two top positions has caught them in an awkward position especially when the SGM was held on a Saturday.
Meanwhile a staff from the national broadcaster says it is not fair that the notice didn’t specify that members who have not yet paid must bring their membership fee of $100 before they can cast their vote.
“They are driving us away when they disallow us to vote for our candidate. Why should I pay my membership fee now?” she said.
Island Sun’s staff and a member of the Executive committee who was also nominated for the presidency post but absent during the SGM said it was just so unfair how her fellow colleagues had agreed for the notice from MASI Secretariat be allowed to carry online voting as an arrangement for those that will not be able to attend the meeting in person and then only to recall the clause during the SGM proper saying it is unconstitutional and only for MASI financial members residing in the provinces.
“What they should have done was to differ the meeting to a weekday so that everyone will attend in person. Haven’t they considered the Sabbath keepers as well?” she said.
Meanwhile Island Sun understands that the nomination process for the Executive committee positions had been sidelined.
Section 11.4.8 of the MASI constitution stated that nominations for the executive committee shall be proposed in writing, seconded by another member and counter signed by the nominee.
However Island Sun has proof that there was no counter signature by a nominee who had won the election, meaning nomination for the candidate had been unconstitutional from the start and he shouldn’t have been allowed to stand as a candidate.
“During the SGM, time and time again it had been stressed that MASI members should read, know and understand the constitution,” said a staff from Island Sun.
“The MASI Executive committee members that controlled the SGM proper also lack the savvy on the MASI constitution. Now we have taken the time to understand the constitution, we have reasons to believe that one or both of the nominees should have been disqualified on the grounds that they didn’t meet the nomination criteria set out in the constitution.”
Island Sun has decided to come out with this issue through the media so that the Executive Committee will look into rectifying what had been publicly published as soon as possible.