New law awaits gov’t
A Solomon Islands law that aims to reform weak leadership code legislation is stuck in limbo as the country approaches elections.
Last month in Vienna, Solomon Islands Government presented a progress report on efforts to reform the Leadership Code Act to the Implementation Review Group of the UN Convention Against Corruption.
The Assistant Secretary to the Prime Minister, Derek Futaiasi, presented the report.
He says a draft of the new Act is complete but points out that its path to parliament depends on the political will of whatever government emerges later this month.
“Given that corruption is an issue in many Pacific Island countries, such as in the Solomon Islands, we need to invigorate our laws and institutions to deal with corruption. So I see it as an important duty for us to fight corruption.”
Futaiasi says if passed, the new law will bring about six reforms including the setting up of an Integrity Commission and protection for public servants who expose corruption.
PAP to deal with TRC report
The People’s Alliance Party says it will make it a must to deal with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report if it forms the Government after the November 19 polls.
The party agrees that an alliance government will deal with the TRC Report within its first l00 days in office.
The PAP says what it plans to do is to put together White Papers on each of the recommendations for submissions to Cabinet and Parliament, adding in this case, the whole Report may not have to be presented to the Chambers for deliberations in its present form.
The Caretaker NRCA Government could not have taken the TRC Report to the Parliament, but its reasons for not doing so have not made public.
Church general synod here
Solomon Islands Anglican Church of Melanesia is playing host to the 14th General Synod in Honiara beginning.
The Anglican Church of Melanesia covers Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and New Caledonia and the General Synod is the church’s highest decision making body.
The General Synod will begin with a Retreat at Melanesia Haus on the Saint Barnabas Cathedral Grounds in Central Honiara, Saturday.
An opening Service will be held at the Cathedral today.
A 17-member delegation from Vanuatu has arrived in Honiara while Solomon delegates will join them within the next two days.
A total of 80 Synod members will attend the General Synod which will last only a week instead of the normal two weeks meet.
The reason is because Solomon Islands will go to the polls on November 19.
The General Synod will be presented with reports on the life of the church from various parishes.
The last General Synod was held in 2011.
Drivers told to stay away from alcohol
Police are urging drivers to refrain from alcohol consumption and to ensure their vehicles do not have defects.
The police made the appeal after the Traffic Unit arrested more than 20 public transport drivers and detained defect vehicles.
The Traffic Division has been conducting its High Visibility Operation along Honiara and Guadalcanal roads.
The Police Traffic Division says it will continue the operation in the weeks leading to the election to make sure traffic offenders are taken off the public roads.
St Joseph’s to get a facelift
The Catholic Church run St Joseph’s School at Tenaru on the eastern outskirts of Honiara will soon get a facelift.
School Principal, Abraham Hihiru revealed the plan at the school’s recent graduation ceremony.
He says the facelift will include the construction of a new two-storey administration block.
Hihiru says an architectural design has been completed and the total cost of the new building will be finalided soon, adding work should begin in December.
Meanwhile, the principal has appealed to ex-students to to-up the school’s fundraising efforts, which have already raised $600,000 to finish the project.
He says next to be built in the newyear will be two staff houses.
Oldest woman alive
A Guadalcanal mother age 135 is said to be the oldest person to be alive in Solomon Islands.
MaritinaVangatala of Ngalitabakuau village on south Guadalcanal relayed her story to local reporter Jared Koli, who visited the area recently.
Vangatala was born in 1879 according to her birth certificate, which was kept at the Marist Catholic centre at Avuavu.
Koli said the great grandmother had four sons, three daughters, 38 grandchildren, and 22 great grandchildren.
He added the woman had sight problem, but could still speak clearly, and walk with the assistance of a walking stick.
Her eldest son is now into his 80s and is also using a walking stick.
Voters demand front payment
More and more voters are demanding payments from candidates in return for their votes.
Malaita man Nicholas Mae’efoa, who resides in Honiara, said the practise is becoming widespread.
“This is why you see voters lining up in front of homes and offices of candidates,” Mae’efoa said.
Another Malaita man Luke Ramo said voters in West Kwara’ae are demanding candidates to meet their request if they want their votes.
“Some voters demand candidates to pay them $200 if they want their ballot.
“Gwaunaru’u village in West Kwara’ae is not allowing any candidates to campaign in their village unless that person pays $200.
“Candidates are also charged for using community or school halls to conduct their campaign,” Ramo said.
Needle found in bread
A family having breakfast yesterday morning was shocked to find a needle in one of the breads they bought from a shop at Crossroad, near Henderson.
Father Dalton Isaac told the Sunday Star he bought the bread from Gaoming Shop at Crossroad on Friday evening.
“This morning while we were having breakfast, we were shocked when one of my boys felt something inside the bread,” Isaac said yesterday.
“A closer look revealed it was a needle,” he said.
Isaac said the plastic wrapped around the bread carried the words “Nature Bread” with telephone number 38298.
“I called on the company that produced the bread to take extra care when producing its products.
“They are selling the bread to the public so they have to ensure they sell what is clean and good,” he said.
Isaac said it could have been a different story had the boy mistakenly swallow the needle.