Withdrawal of Anti-Corruption Bill - Solomon Star News

Withdrawal of Anti-Corruption Bill

05 September 2017
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ON Monday 28th August 2017, the Prime Minister’s Motion to withdraw the Anti-Corruption Bill passed through the Parliament floor, with the support of the following Members of Parliaments.

1.                 Hon. Peter Shanel Agovaka

17. Hon. Manasseh Maelanga

 

2.                 Hon. Ishmael Avui

18. Hon. Augustin Auga

 

3.                Hon. Jackson Fiulaua

19. Hon. John Maneniaru

 

4.                 Hon. Moffat Fugui

 

20. Hon. Andrew Manepora

5.                Hon. Moses Garu

21. Hon. Samuel Manetoali

 

6.                 Hon. Samuel Iduri

 

22. Hon. William Marau

7.                 Hon. Dr. Angikimua Tautai

 

23.  Hon. Commins Mewa

 

8.                 Hon. Dudley Kopu

 

24. Hon. Elizah Doromuala

 

9.                Hon. Dean Kuku

 

25. Hon. David Day Pacha

 

10.              Hon. Chris Laore

 

26. Hon. Dickson Mua

11.              Hon. B. Parapolo

 

27. Hon. Danny Philip

 

12.              Hon. Snyder Rini

 

28. Hon. Stanley Sofu

 

13.             Hon. Manasseh Sogavare

 

29. Hon. Jimson Tana

14.             Hon. Silas Vangara

 

30. Hon. Bradley Tovusia

15.             Hon. Freda Tuki

 

31. Hon. Milner Tozaka

16.             Hon. Sam Maneka

 

 

 

 

Those that were against the withdrawal of the Bill:

 

1.                Hon. Matthew Wale

6. Hon. Jeremiah Manele

2.                 Hon. Rick Hou

 

7. Hon. Derek Manuari

3.                Hon. Sandakabatu

 

8. Hon. Dr. Derek Sikua

 

4.                Hon. Peter Tom

5.                 Hon. Bodo Dettke

 

9. Hon. Dr. Culwick Togamana

10. Hon. Douglas Ete

 

 

 

 Those that were absent:

 

1.                Hon. Nesto Ghiro

 

6.                 Hon. Martin Kealoe

2.                 Hon. Jimmy Lusibaea

7.                Hon. Namson Tran

 

3.                Hon. Lionel Alex

 

8.                Hon. Charles Sigoto

 

4.                Hon. David Tome

 

9.                Hon. Steve Abana

 

5.                Hon Alfred Ghiro

 

 


On social media, print media and on radio there is public outcry on this outcome.

It is a very sad day for the people of Solomon Islands who expected leaders to whom they entrust their power will exercise that power to make decisions in the best interest of the future generation of this country, its development, provide the opportunities for people of this nation to have access to better social services, economic infrastructure development to support economic development and growth providing employment opportunities for our people.

The main obstacle to this is corruption that is syphoning/ diverting billions of public funds that should bring this about enriching just a few people.

It was a big disappointment to the people of Solomon Islands who were assured by the DCCG government under the leadership of Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in 2015, 2026 and this year that this was their flagship reform policy.

He further declared publicly that it will go before the Parliament before the end of this year.

The least he could have done is let the Bill go though its second reading and call for a vote on it to be passed or not.

This way Solomon Islands citizen will know what the issues are from the Members of Parliament point of view.

This is not to be.

This action more or less confirmed that what the public thought that they are voted into the parliament and will be there to represent us is totally wrong.

They probably see that as hilarious as indicated by the allocations on the next bill that they discussed, the Supplementary Appropriation Bill.

The discussions that pursued and revelations by the Minister of Finance on the floor of parliament as to the practices that Members of Parliament are involved in we can now confirm that they are there for the money.

We can no longer be silent about that.

Obviously, our leaders have not learned from our most recent past, fundamentally, attributed to the failure of successive governments leadership to implement effective or just policies and strategies to develop the country’s human and natural resources.

Government Leadership, failed its people. It ignored addressing the issues that are of importance to them.

Whilst its people are of the firm belief that only when Solomon Islanders benefit from development, when people are the centre of development, when policies and strategies underpinning this firm belief are being championed by those with whom we entrust our power, can their issues be addressed, it is not to be.

People are no longer the centre of development nor do they benefit equally from the exploitation of their resources.

Through the votes that they took in parliament the leadership we have has no intention of improving the social and economic status of Solomon Islands.

The government’s policies are in paper but, it is not based on social and economic analysis of local and observed data, and nor are they committed to seeing these papers and talk through.

What we have are leaders that are in politics predominantly to divert the flow of public funds and other material benefits to themselves, their families and supporters.

They are highly skilled in spotting opportunities to use their political office, or position in Public Sector, for these ends and have no shortage of persons ready to assist them, domestically and overseas.

Unfortunately, decisions in parliament with regard to the Anti-Corruption Bills continued to be influenced by the group of leaders whose over-riding goal is to stay in power to maintain the flow of benefits to themselves and their and cronies.

Yes, civil society, Institutions of Integrity of the government and Transparency Solomon Islands have worked together to empower our citizens with the correct information, to hold institutions and leaders accountable.

In the absence of a dedicated independent body to support citizens’ voices, space and activism, the helplessness we see in our people will continue and may explode if not addressed.

Transparency Solomon Islands still believes that the Anti-Corruption Bill, the Whistle-blowers Bill and the Freedom Of Information Bills are a step in the right direction to make a difference in good citizenry and urge those members who did not support the withdrawal of the Anti-Corruption Bill to continue representing those who voted you in and the Prime Minister to continue to negotiate for the passage of this bill through the parliament.

We remind voters we are equally responsible for what we have today with regard to leadership.

That is our power and our work is not complete after the election.  During the four-year election cycle we have a duty to play and that duty is holding those we elect accountable so stand up and be counted.

 

 

 

 

 

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