‘Unsworn’ Makira chiefs cautioned

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The Commissioner for Oaths in Makira Ulawa Province, Jack Faga has reminded people who have been performing Chiefs’ roles and functions in three Wards of Central Makira Constituency without being sworn in on oath that they could be abusing and misusing chiefly authority.

Mr Faga said in a public notice displayed on Notice Boards in Kira Kira, the Provincial Capital on June 7, 2021 that there are people in the three wards who have been performing and exercising roles and functions of Chiefs without being sworn in on oath.

He said such people could be abusing and misusing Chiefly Authority when they indulged in “Un-chiefly” conducts and compromising one’s performances in conflicts of interest situations.

Faga sounded out the warnings as the Commissioner for Oaths for Solomon Islands who commissioned the Swearing-In of a huge number of Chiefs in “our Province on August 2007 under the 2006 Makira Ulawa Province Council of Chiefs Ordinance.

“I wish to sound out these warnings as a matter of awareness in a very clear and precise manner to persons performing and exercising roles and functions as Chiefs in   Wards 9, 10 and 11 in Central Makra Constituency”.

He reminds people who engage themselves in Customary Land Disputes Settlement Hearings who have not been sworn in and commissioned either by him or any other Commissioner for Oaths lack the legal capacity and authority to perform and carry out such roles and functions.

And any involvement of such persons in Customary Land Dispute Settlement hearings automatically renders the entire hearing process including the judgment itself and orders to be void.

But Faga says Chiefs who have taken the Oath and have been commissioned must be mindful and cautious of how they use their authority in performing and exercising their roles and functions, because any act or omission that constitutes an abuse or misuse of chiefly authority is a serious matter that could result in:

a)            The nullification of their work; b) tarnishing their credibility and integrity and c) destroying the trust and confidence the public has of them.

He also wants Chiefs that have been sworn in and commissioned to be always conscious of their conducts in the public and private domains because any behavior and conduct that brings disrepute, mockery and contempt to their chiefly status and esteem and respect accorded to them by society is a valid and compelling ground for revoking the Oath and removing the Authority bestowed on them.

Faga also wants chiefs who have been sworn in and commissioned must at all times avoid and refrain themselves from situations where the performance of their roles is compromised because of personal interests.

He adds occurrences of such situations not only subject their work to public ridicule and criticisms but leaves very poor moral judgment on their neutrality and impartiality which can often lead to disrespectful attitude towards them by members of the public.

“I, therefore strongly urge people who are currently performing and exercising roles and functions as Chiefs in the three Wards of Central Makira Constituency to take heed of the warnings and to comply accordingly,” says Faga.

In his closing remarks, he says the awareness is not intended to pass judgment or condemnation on anyone in particular, rather it is purposely aimed at helping Chiefs to undertake personal reflections and self-examinations of their conducts and the manner in which they have been discharging their responsibilities over the years, so as to enable them to cause necessary adjustments in order to keep and maintain public trust and confidence on them.

By George Atkin

Kira Kira