The issue of ‘unexplained wealth’ - Solomon Star News

The issue of ‘unexplained wealth’

31 August 2016

INDEPENDENT Group leader Dr Derek Sikua wants the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) to investigate Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s real estate properties.

The Solomon Star featured that story in Wednesday’s paper.

Prime Minister Sogavare owned a number of properties in Honiara.

Dr Sikua wanted the LCC to find out the sources of funding through which Mr Sogavare acquired all these properties.

In his view, Mr Sogavare could not afford such properties because his salary is over $5,000 a fortnight and there has not been any big increase in the PM’s salary under the Parliamentary Entitlement Regulation.

Simply put, Dr Sikua wanted the LCC to look into “Mr Sogavare’s unexplained wealth”.

Mr Sogavare has nothing to worry about if the funds obtained to build these properties are through legal sources.

No doubt being the person that he is, the prime minister will definitely welcome such investigation.

Like any other right-minded Solomon Islander, Mr Sogavare would not like the public to cast any shadow of doubts over the properties that he and his family have acquired.

So for now let’s allow the LCC investigation to proceed.

The LCC is a constitutionally-established body tasked to look into complaints of this nature.

It should use its independence to carry out the investigation without fear or favour.

And in that process, it must not leave any stones unturned.

This may be the first case of its kind for the LCC to investigate.

We have not heard before the LCC investigating the “unexplained wealth” of any of our leaders.

Although there are a number of leaders whose “unexplained wealth” should be investigated as well.

Dr Sikua and his office appeared to have done quite a significant amount of research before making their submission to the LCC.

They should have done that to other politicians, too.

Especially those who entered parliament with no properties but now owned a number of houses in Honiara.

The issue of “unexplained wealth” is a serious matter and one that needs to be put on the national radar.

Anyone holding public office and whose wealth is far beyond their remuneration should be subjected to investigation and public scrutiny.

Can we see more of this kind of investigation in the near future?