MEMBERS of Parliament are elected to serve the interest of the nation and people in the constituency.
Leaders must serve the people, which is a responsibility that should be shouldered by any person seeking Parliament in the coming election.
Since independence many politicians have put their integrity into doubt as the call to serve the people has turned into self serving.
Several MPs have convicted and has tarnished the image of the Honorable House.
Recently, a number of allegations stormed the Police over misuses of public funds and abuse of office.
Corruption has indeed painted the wrong picture about leaders and the government and continues to do so.
The question remains whether leaders are truly serving the people or just themselves.
Transparency Solomon Islands (TSI) defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain and when elected leaders use their official power to gain personal interest, this is corruption.
The controversy surrounding the alleged personal benefit received by caretaker Deputy Opposition Leader Hon. Matthew Wale from Allied Gold is one of the allegations that stood against a leader.
Many more other allegations against leaders are with the Police or Leadership Code Commission.
It is time that serious actions must be taken by authorities to investigate alleged corrupt practices.
In the Wale’s case, it was alleged that an Australian mining company (Allied Gold) that used to operate here paid for the children of the outgoing MP to study in Australia.
This was done in return for Mr. Wale assisting Allied Gold, former owners of Gold Ridge mine, with its operation in the country.
Receiving of personal benefits for doing a favour on behalf of private investors without disclosing it to the Office of the Leadership Code Commission may also amount to mis-conduct in office.
Leaders must be reminded that when one indulged in such corrupt act it is the integrity of public institution and personal integrity that is tarnishing.
Public trust is on leaders declines.
It’s not only about misusing of public funds or abuse of office, it is also about decision making.
Some of the decisions are not in line with procedures, for instance the award of a mining license by Minister of Ministry of Mines Hon. Moses Garu to a to Asian Pacific Investment Development (APID) and Bintang to mine Bauxite in Rennel remain questionable.
TSI believes that some due procedures that needed considered before a mining lease can be awarded are not followed.
It is important to note that when decisions are made outside of the due processes, decisions reached are unfair and less represented to public interested.
On another issue, outgoing MP for North West Choiseul, Connelly Sandakabatu, hands out a $3 million cheque shipping grant to purchase a new boat for the constituency to Vatate Investment and Development Company Ltd on behalf of the constituency.
But a search through the company haus of Solomon Islands shows that Vatate Investment and Development Company Ltd is not a company own by the constituency but rather the outgoing MP himself as a Director and two other cousin brothers as shareholders.
TSI calls upon the responsible authorities to carry out an investigation into this.
Remember as a leader your primary role is to serve the people not serves your own interest.
We want to know what you think about this issue. Call TSI on 28319, email [email protected] or get in touch via our facebook page www.facebook.com/TransparencySI
By TRANSPARENCY SOLOMON ISLANDS