Renbel Solomon Games LOC blames ministry for the mess
THE Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the Renbel Solomon Games proposed for this year is heating back on the government, blaming the Ministry of Home Affairs for failing to support them in their preparations.
In a statement issued this week, the LOC chairlady Joyce Konofilia said, they are disheartened and deeply disappointed about the entire saga surrounding the Ministry of Home Affairs decision to host the Solomon Games in Honiara instead of Renbel province.
Ms Konofilia added, when they won the bid to host the games in September 2013, it was seen as a huge achievement for their people and province.
“The ground breaking in Bellona Island was organized and celebrated with great pride, culture and traditions with participation from the whole island.
“Our people took the occasion and the Solomon Games very seriously as we knew that our opportunity to have best sports facilities and opportunity to showcase our culture, and people to the outside world has arrived. We did not waste any time to start the preparations both with LOC and Renbel executive.
“A site visit was conducted at the proposed games venue at provincial headquarters Tingoa with a delegation that consisted of the Ministry of Home Affairs officers, LOC and Central Tender Board secretary,” she stated.
Following that, the chairlady said, a full report was forwarded by their engineer to the Ministry of Home Affairs and the LOC and Renbel executive waited for funds to commence work on infrastructures and facilities until today.
“Despite the many meetings held with Ministry of Home Affairs nothing happened. We were assured so many times of ‘we will look into it and get back to you’ promises. Yet nothing happened.
“Last year it was agreed on by the Minister of Home Affairs and DPM during one of those many meetings that the games would be moved to November 2016 yet nothing happened until now. 2013 went past, 2014 came and went, same with 2015 and now its 2016 and now we’ve been told to wait for 2018!
“Who in their right minds would believe such promises; considering that’s the election year and that will be the number one excuse not to have the games then,” she added.
As chairlady of the Renbel LOC, Ms Konofilia said she is at a loss on how the Ministry of Home Affairs has been dealing with the Solomon games event for the past 3 and half years.
“I may be ignorant on some procedures of the government but I definitely know for sure that it is a possible endeavour that can be achieved and could have been achieved if the Ministry particularly the Permanent Secretary, Director and Solomon Games council did their homework.
“Like I always maintained in the past and I’m going to reiterate it again, the Renbel games was never given a priority. It was never accounted for in the national budget although it’s a national event.
“Although leadership was changed in some instances, the initial arrangements should have been respected and honored as far as my Renbel people are concerned.
“As Chairlady, I can only say that the responsible authorities have failed us miserably. Why there are funds made available for hosting the game in Honiara and not Renbel?” the chairlady probed.
She said, now that the games are going ahead in Honiara, it has defeated the whole purpose and objective of the Solomon Games and that is to develop facilities across the country.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with members of the media this week former president of National Olympic Committee of Solomon Islands (NOCSI), Charles Dausabea has urged the government to remove the PS of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
This is due to the fact that, it was against the Solomon Games Charter, to take the Games away from Renbel.
“The aim of the Games charter is to spread the games to all the provinces in order to improve their infrastructures.
“Renbel had already won the bid three times, therefore, it should be supported by the government to host it at the initial stage,” he said.
By RONALD TOITO’ONA