Corruption can be eradicated and reduced in the country if all citizens seriously take up the responsibility to phase it out.
Corruption is like a viral disease in reality and people just cannot accept that it exist, a challenging notion to fight.
Inclusive responsibility is pertinent to fight against issues from the public sector to the private domain.
It is a real challenge that fighting corruption when on the outset people did not accept its existence and do nothing about eradicating it.
This also calls for partnership nationally, regionally and international as it is not a lone fight.
Solomon Islands ranking amongst 186 listed fraud and corruption countries is 143, something that all should consider seriously in doing something about.
The problem of fraud and corruption in the Solomon Islands has eaten up the country right to the very fabrics of its highest trusted institutions, organizations and societies.
Fraud and corruption occurred in many institutions in the country, is growing and tamper rightful procedures to follow.
Common practices today in Honiara are nepotism, red tape, overpayments, inferior products, reduced revenue and policy distortion.
And the lists goes on, include bribery, altering and falsifying of documents, procurement or asset transfer for personal benefit.
Procurement transfer for personal benefits is one that is happening almost now and then.
As a matter of fact, contractor fraud involving fake companies, employee allowances, inventory of assets by misuse and theft, licensing, permits, fees and duties.
I believed these things happen because of problems related to low enforcement, the lack of will, inexperience, delaying tactic of procedures, poor record keeping and evidence”.
It is now time to strengthen our institutions, and that law enforcers in order to have a good vibrant country that is free from fraud and corruption”.
Strengthening governance is very important in this regard to enable transparency and accountability in all due course.
“More over there needs to be solutions drawn in protecting public interest, support of transparency and accountability, to lead by example, build a supportive culture in this regard, be ethical, reward ethnical behavior and zero tolerance to fraud foremost.
It is a shocking revelation that 85 percent of crown land are in the hands of Asians.
Future, the government must find a way to put a stop to this and one practical way is to thoroughly investigate and clean-up the ministry.
“Public servants must serve with integrity and be strong with their leadership to abide by the law despite outside influence of money to lure them to do the opposite.”
Responsible authorities must not be reluctant because it is extremely visible from Henderson (in the east) to White River (in the west) that foreigners have occupied land and established their businesses.
The ministry must take some responsibility and immediately put a stop to this because in the future, our future generations will reap its repercussions.
We need officers that won’t compromise their positions to ensure good governance and transparency prevail.”
Corruption is a crime under the penal code therefore when complaints are raised to relevant institutions such as the police or Leadership Code Commission; they have the mandate by law to investigate and lay relevant charges.
It was very unfortunate to note that a number of reported corruptive arts and misconduct by certain leaders or individuals to police has never been dealt with or even acknowledged by writing.
Some of these reports were brushed under the carpet; nothing has been done with it until today.
This indicates the failure of these institutions that should be doing their mandated role under their respective laws.
Why corruption in the country is very high is because institutions responsible to enact the laws have failed miserably, thus encouraging the rise in corruption activities.
There are laws; that needs amendment as there could be loopholes whereby some people are taking advantage for their own gain.
Today, we need people who fear God and live up to Biblical principles and values to work in public offices
“As a matter of fact, if we have the right people in place, we will see fairness and developments where Solomon Islanders will enjoy.”
As Mahatma Gandhi coined, “Be the change you want to see in the world”
Common practice today in Honiara to get your payment processed, it’s a must you pay someone or at least promise him or her that you will pay them once your payment is given priority,”
A common comment from people waiting for their payments is paying someone is the only way to get your payment on the top of the pile. If you don’t, no one looks at it.
Therefore, the coming election is crucial for Solomon Islands must vote for Members of Parliament that have the vision to lead this nation and not those that go into Parliament to serve their own pockets.
Our nation is desperate for leaders that fight for national interest and push for radical change in the public sector and in the private domain.
On the international perspective, the United Nations Chief Ban Ki-Moon described the cost of corruption is measured not just in the billions of dollars of squandered or stolen Government resources, but most poignantly in the absence of the hospitals, schools, clean water, roads and bridges that might have been built with that money and would have certainly changed the fortunes of families and communities.
Corruption destroys opportunities and creates rampant inequalities.
It undermines human rights and good governance, stifles economic growth and distorts markets.
By ELLIOT DAWEA
Divine Word University