I WANT to debunk many allegations levelled against AIPF: “only moving ships cause waves…” We have reviewed most allegations and we have concluded they lack substance and reason. None the less, we wish to offer (without prejudice) our take on the topics thus far:
- It was claimed AIPF holds multiple joint ventures based on the title value. At the present moment and in the past, AIPF have not had any Joint Ventures based on title Co-Ownership in Solomon Islands. This claim is unfounded.
- It was alleged our private residence is owned or was purchased by the current Prime Minister. We are not aware of this. It has never been purchased by Prime Minister Sogavare. The right place to check is Land register not coming to our gates.
Also among the clients claimed victims – is East Bauro Enterprises. We do not know who this is. No client of AIPF (past or present) has that name. Kateson/Honiara Refrigeration’s (the named widow in the papers) has never been a client of AIPF. The only transaction was ever done with her was to having sold to us at arms-length contract of a defunct business. That does not make such a transaction our client; the writers need to define a client properly before making wildly unfounded allegations with catchy headings.
- It was alleged the CT scan is failed project. CT scan project was due to bed completed in May 2021 and the contractor is Hatanga not AIPF SI. Budgetary matters are MHMS to clarify but all the arguments run in the paper are simply false. Our experience is based on several completed projects among them, Mokolo, TR Heights, Telekom TH4 Ranadi roundabout and many others. These are all projects managed by AIPF with great results. These projects have lifted the image of Honiara and we will objectively continue to work to inspire and support all desirous Solomon Islanders to help them access to finance. Where more work is still needed, is ongoing capacity development to manage long term strategic growth and cash flows.
- It was alleged that we pay for approvals for banks to grant offers. This is a ‘Big No’. We have never and I doubt if anyone would shape a bank’s lending panel. Keep in mind, banks do not lend who they know, they invest for business. Our job is to guide our client in the complex lending stages, requirements and the process itself. Indigenous Solomon Islanders do struggle to access financing and this is the market gap for our private sector. The complex banking requirements also require competent individuals and our work is not free.
- With a week in media, I still do not understand what our critiques do not like?
(a) Is it that we help indigenous people to access funding with low interest rates compared to others? Or
(b) Is it that we also make money as a private business?
(c) Or is it that locals we help are struggling to meet bank repayments (just as everyone is affected by COVID-19)?
If this is the case, how does that become AIPF’s problem? What is their problem?
- Now to understand what the problem is, one needs to understand who is busy in social media and newspapers and those in the background:
(6.1) George Kosui, the initiator; a person who was fired from the Central Bank and government for a number of allegations and abuse of government assets, an agent of a client who has lost the high court case in November 2020 should simply focus on negotiating how to pay what is owed.
(6.2) The client in Naha, aka Robert Lee, in the social media: AIPF paid for his mortgage to rescue the family homes in Naha from being repossessed by POB. AIPF paid for his building insurance, 9-year land rental and helped him refurbish the house to turn around his tide. AIPF spent on him over 100k to help him. After, the refinance he refunded the expenses, and refurbishment funding was secured, he employed a local company (JNS Co LTD, owned by Salome). They did their job as expected. After it was all done, this client took the keys, and moved in his house since October, 2019- still owing the full payment. He had the money in his account, but he misused it. This client has not paid even a dollar to JNS! Not for labour, not for material, everything. He failed to honour the contract in place. He is now out there acting as one of the victims. Contacting every past client he got to know and try to recruit them. Fortunately, many of our clients have rebuffed them and called us to inform us. This person has an interesting past.
Joyce Konofilia, a well-known critique of every successful Solomon Islander and recently attempted to bring down one of the upcoming leaders- Miss Solomon, Gladys Habu for fishy reasons. She has never been a client of AIPF. Yet, she has called every client, posing as one of them. She has monitored our movements, search clients contacts and shared information. Make up theories – which hold no water. And her only objective in her word “Take Salome down”- for what may I ask? I know it is a democracy, but this practice of freedom of speech is now new to me.
- There is a pattern here. These individuals are supposedly to be all been educated. This country has spent so much money to educate them to be professionals, to help the development. Instead they have veered off the road. They hold no career. No job. No business. They spend the day on social media. Their frustration is now showing through baseless attacks to the government leaders, to the private sector leaders of this country and every successful woman entrepreneur. A sad outcome indeed.
- Clarification about HRAC: The issue of Honiara Refrigeration is well structured commercial transaction based on business assets and liabilities not just the land (which had less than a year left to its expiration). The contract (for which stamp duty was also paid) had been discussed and settled months before it was signed. The interesting bit in this story is that the so called “victim” is nowhere to be heard. Only the so called “agents” have been loud in the media. This client cannot deny that she had been texting and pushing. Her son, also in Honiara, witnessed the contract to represent the other family members (we were told); and a friend and a retired police officer. The contract was concluded after lengthy discussions and assessment over 2/3 months between parties. The text messages and call log by the so called “victim” show a different story from that said by her “Cousin, Loti”. The owner know that (as per company house records we consulted) show her as the sole owner since 1990s up until late 2020. More than a year after purchase and only after the site has been developed. Anyone can do their checks of this fact from public records held by the company Haus.
The “victim” was taken to court by AIPF for trying to add a shareholder and director in a person who is dead, retrospectively! This is not permissible under current law. Their advisor/lawyer should have known better that one cannot falsify historical records to defeat an already signed contract. This is a matter we at AIPF have taken to Court for a ruling.
To conclude, the business already taken over through the contract (witnessed and stamp duty paid) stands challenged by ill-informed people, who have selfish motives. Again, delaying development that we are championing to change Honiara and develop this country. How can that be right? Again, this is not how the business is done; contracts are important avenue to ensure parties stay true to their commitments. SIG should really look at how to actively work to reduce the current hostility towards the private sector and improve the doing business standing.
We say this because from our experience now, AIPF stands as a victim of harassment, libel and character deformation by those who owe us money, lost in the high courts of this land, and, in some cases, are trying to walk away from their formalised commitments.
- Those misleading the public should be reminded that we are not a public company. We welcome robust debates, critiques, because they make us better. We can learn from it, and we can improve. However, there are limits to debate and freedom of speech. Going into finding residential of a private person, checking their clients seeking illegal access to information from accounts, and private person’s lawyers, commenting carelessly on social media about private life matters, and many other criminal things are not welcome debate. They are what they are, criminal activities. We as a private company we reserve the right to take to court everyone making unfounded allegations both in social media and in the prints as well as those going around revealing privileged business information.
- We cannot end this rebuke without thanking our clients and friends who have stood up to these opportunists. We are happy to see clients who have been subjected to unwelcome recruitment have stood their grounds and refused to be drawn into conspiracies and selfish motives claims. It is sad that newspapers are not asking hard facts to these so called investigators. They should in the interest of the newspaper readers. We want to assure the public that AIPF SI remain committed to serving our clients with the most competitive and professional services. We can be contacted in our offices at Ranadi between 10-5pm every day.
By Dr. DEO HARORIMANA