These funds I understand are for Tourism projects in the Kia and Havulei wards.
Surprisingly, the handing over of the funds was done in isolation, witnessed mostly by supporters and agents of the MP.
The handing over ceremony should have been done in either Kia or Baolo village so that chiefs, leaders and people in the villages could witness the handing over and be informed as to who are the successful beneficiaries or applicants, if the funds were indeed handed over based on project applications. I doubt it that this is the case.
Not long after the handing over, some constituents in the area are now saying that the funds or some of it are now controlled by Hon. Selwyn Riumana’s ‘Businessman-Agent’ in Kia Village who will dish out the funds.
It has also been said that the Agent is using the funds not necessarily for tourism projects but also as direct assistance to solicit support for Hon. Riumana’s re-election.
It would be interesting to see if after six or 12 months there are indeed tourism related projects that have been completed with the use of these funds.
If so, that is great because it will contribute to the growth of the Tourism Industry, and Hon. Riumana can also officially open these projects during the campaign period towards the end of this year.
If not, then, is this not another vote buying strategy used by the MP and his Agents? If it is, then it is bribery again!
But what’s new! Hon. Riumana is notorious for such tactics.
Last week there was a letter to the Editor of this paper, regarding the suspicious sale ($1,000 each) of Rock Haven Inn shares by Hon. Riumana to his supporters and others, using Hograno Peoples Association receipt and our Constituency Stamp or seal.
I have copies of some of the receipts he gave to his supporters. If it was genuine then he should have used a Rock Haven Inn receipt and stamp/seal. Is this a case of Fraud? We’ll soon find out.
Finally, if the above tourism project funds came from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, I wish to call on the Ministry to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the projects for which the above funds were allocated.
Otherwise this is another total waste of constituency funds.