MP told to respect customary land consultation  - Solomon Star News

MP told to respect customary land consultation 

06 June 2021
Mr. Dominic Ona.

A BAEGU ASIFOLA Customary landowner has appealed to his Member of Parliament to respect the process of consultation on land matters before getting just about anyone to sign off on any agreement.

Dominic Ona of Ausimae Village told Solomon Star he was not happy about the way his MP Makario Tagini had taken in signing up land for a road to go through.

“Land does not exist on its own. It has owners,” Mr. Ona said.

“In this case I represent the founder of the tribe of the land where the proposed road would go through. They only sent text messages to inform us of the people who signed the agreement.

“Some of the people are never related to the land,” Mr. Ona said.

He named someone by the name of Faiga as an example. Faiga is never connected with the land at all. He is from the Abarafi tribe in East Fataleka. He is not even related to the land the proposed road would go through.

According to Mr. Ona, the proposed road is to be built in-land, starting in the West Kwara’ae Constituency all the way to Ausimae Village in the Baegu Asifola Constituency.

“Why was Mr. Faiga along with others allowed to sign off on an agreement for the road? It is the kind of thing that has the potential to cause dispute, and yet it is something that could be easily avoided if the Hon Member has consulted everyone,” Mr. Ona said.

Mr. Ona said he was disappointed that despite the fact that he was the head of the tribe of the land where the road would go through, he was never consulted.

“Sure there were some who were related, but they were from the female side. In Malaita, it is the male who heads tribal groups whose authority has been recognised over the years.

“Those on the male side are the only people who could sign anything to do with land, not anyone else unless there were no male from the tribe was living,” Mr. Ona said.

Mr. Ona said he is appealing to Hon Tagini to respect the customary land process, when it comes to economic development.

“I am not against the proposed road. Roads are important for development, but it is also very important that the process which has been established many, many years ago is respected and followed.

“It is the only way to avoid dispute in future undertaking,” he said.

Solomon Star was unable to get any comments from Hon Tagini on Mr. Ona’s complaint.