TRANSPARENCY Solomon Islands continues to carry out civic advocacy, advocating for good governance and good leadership ahead of the National General Election by using the Constituency Development Fund as an entry point to addressing unrealized developments, and service delivery in Lord Howe, Malaita Outer Islands Constituency in Malaita province.
TSI was invited to conduct awareness at Luaniua and Pelau.
Participants have expressed that the awareness was very informative, is easily understood, relevant and timely.
The awareness aims to educate voters and the following important issues formed part of TSI’s civic awareness.
The role of MPs, our power as citizens pursuant to the provisions of our supreme law the Constitution, the importance of realising this power and exercising the same during elections, the value of citizens vote, importance of choosing good leaders, keeping leaders accountable, and saying no to vote buying.
Understanding these responsibilities is vital to make informed decisions as voters prepare to vote for their next Member of Parliament in April 2019.
“The rural people have been the ones who have had a lot of questions on CDF formerly known as RCDF.
“The ignorance of many rural people led them to believe that everything the MPs and CDOs say were true.
“Many of us constituents within Lord Howe did not taste and feel the Constituency Development Fund (CDF),” villagers said.
“What we see and understand is that only those closer to the MP, some relatives, voters and the CDO are benefitting from the CDF meant for all constituents.”
Malaita Outer Islands [MOI] constituent said, “It was a blessing to have TSI coming to our doorsteps to explain everything clearly to us to understand.
“Now we will not be blinded by any lies, and know that our responsibilities continues after we cast our vote come Election Day.”
At MOI many have expressed their frustration when they realise that all constituents are equally entitled to benefit from the CDF; that all constituents are potential recipients and the CDF is in place to develop the constituency and improve people’s livelihood, without discrimination. That the norm of using the CDF to assist MPs supporters and voters and family members only is not right.
This awareness is to increase citizen’s access to information on Constituency Development Fund.
TSI believes that informed citizens will be empowered to act and exercise their rights.
During the awareness TSI disseminate information on CDF to over 200 constituents concerning what is CDF, Why CDF governance is an issue, the annual CDF budget of previous years and what citizens can do to make CDF effective in their communities.
The presentation also emphasised the importance of eligible voters to get them registered.