A scandal that must end - Solomon Star News


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A scandal that must end

11 June 2014

Solomon Islanders have every right to demand the removal of constituency development funds from their Members of Parliament.

It’s becoming clear as day that the millions of dollars channeled through the MPs each year have not be used for their intended purpose.

The result is the lack of development in the rural areas.

Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) Denton Rarawa couldn’t have said it any clearer when he launched the bank’s 2013 Report, Thursday.

“Over the past eight years, the Government has injected about $1.3 billion across our 50 constituencies,” Rarawa said.

“Despite this significant investment, there are no signs of new tangible projects that significantly generate employment, raise government revenues, discourage urban migration, and help reduce socioeconomic problems,” he added.

So where did all the monies go?

The answer is simple: They ended up in someone’s pocket or used for the wrong purpose.

This is a scandal of unimaginable magnitude that has been allowed to go on for far too long.

Now, we must bring this to an end.

We know our politicians will never, ever let go of these funds. They found it their delight and comfort to keep controlling the funding.

They realise that to remove these funds from their control is to remove their power and authority.

They also realise that by keeping the millions of dollars under their watch, they would be able to control and manipulate the nation’s voters.

But this is not their money. This is people’s money. Our money!

We have every right and power to demand that the funds be removed from the politicians and placed with the responsible government ministry, where they will be coordinated and used to develop our rural areas.

It’s time civil society groups team up and take the fight to our MPs. Initiate a national petition and get every Solomon Islander to sign it.

Present it to this government and demand that all constituency development funds be removed from MPs.

If there are laws to change to make this come about, it must be done in the next parliament session.

And if there’s a need for a nation-wide protest in order to achieve the changes we want with these development funds, get every Solomon Islander to be part of it.

Our politicians have been playing around with our money for far too long. Some have directly enriched themselves with these funds, too.

This is happening while are rural areas continued to be forgotten and neglected. There is nothing that the $1.3 billion given in the name of rural development in the last eight year could show for in our villages.

What is clear is the funds evaporated into thin air before they even reach the villages.

Solomon Islanders, it’s time to stand up and say “enough is enough”.

Unless we rise up and demand the removal of the funds from our politicians, nothing will change in as far as developing our rural areas is concerned.

Can we all stand up to our politicians and say enough is enough?