AUKI Plaza, one of the largest buildings close to the new Auki main market is going to be sold to the Solomon Islands National Provident Fund (SINPF).
This move has really got tenants of the plaza to strongly ask the Malaita Provincial Government to not sell it.
“This is the only large commercial property the provincial government owns, therefore a determined government would renovate it and turn it into a money making investment,” a spokesperson for the tenants Jethro Siru said.
Mr Siru said tenants held a meeting this week and were all against the move to sell the plaza.
But Malaita premier Peter Ramohia said tenants are only occupiers, but the landlord has the right over the property.
Mr Ramohia said the provincial government has agreed, based on the previous government’s initial move, to sell the plaza to NPF.
“The deal is being formalized as we speak.” (See separate story).
But chairman of the Auki Plaza Tenants Committee Jethro Siru said selling of the property is against the MART Government policy which clearly states that the current Malaita Provincial Government will renovate the Auki Plaza and not to sell it.
“The property is a very important and is the only commercial asset of the province therefore; the Provincial Government should be proud of and find ways to renovate it instead of complaining about its deteriorating stage and fervently looking for a purchaser.
“The proposed sale of the property did not reflect a Government that has firm determination and commitment to solve its problems and did not reflect well on a Government that is so vocal about Independence for Malaita Province.”
He added tenants urged the provincial government to (1) put an immediate stop to the proposed sale of Auki Plaza to SINPF, (2) set up a committee that will work towards renovating the complex to fulfill the MART Government policy, (3) be honest and reliable in their dealing, do proper dialogue and consultation with the tenants.
He said one demand is for the Malaita Provincial Government to settle their three heads of claims; the Good will claim; the Repatriation claim and the loss of business claim.
“We will only vacate the property after the Malaita Provincial Government complies with these demands.”
BY WILLIAM EKOTANI