Constituents fight over roofing irons
By LYNNISSHA RUNA
SOME constituents in North Malaita reportedly fought over 6,000 sheets of roofing iron their MP sent to the constituency just before Christmas.
Eye-witnesses told the Solomon Star the incident occurred at Malu’u sub-station when the barge carrying the roofing iron arrived there.
“Our MP Jimmy Lusibaea actually sent 6,000 sheets of roofing irons,” an eye witness who has just returned from his holiday, told the Solomon Star.
“These are to be shared among 300 voters whose names are on the recipients list,” he added.
“But as soon as the barge went ashore at Malu’u wharf, all hell broke loose.
“Constituents who were waiting at the wharf at that time started fighting over the roofing irons.
“It was a shameful and embarrassing incident.
“They were pulling the roofing irons from each other. And in the course of the pulling, they ended up injuring themselves.
“It was a battle between the strong and the young.
“Those who were weak just stood by and watch while the stronger men lay their hands on the roofing irons,” the eye-witness said.
Another eye-witness said a number of the men ended up in the Malu’u Area Health centre with serious cuts to their hands that needed to be stitched.
“This was a really sad incident because those who are supposed to receive the roofing irons ended up missing out,” the eye-witness, who asked not to be named, said.
“The roofing irons were in fact meant for 300 houses. Each recipient should have received 20 pieces of iron sheet,” he added.
The eye-witness said some of the men got themselves up to 30 to 50 sheets of roofing iron during the incident.
“But they don’t take them home.
“Straight after the drama was over they went and sold their loot to the public.
“Some of the men sold the roofing irons they grabbed for just $30 to $50 a sheet.
“But these are colour-bond iron roofing that normally fetched more than $200 in the hardware shops in Honiara.
“After selling their loot, they went and bought beer from the black markets around Malu’u.”
The eye-witness said the incident was a hot topic in North Malaita constituency during the Christmas break.
“Everyone was talking about it.
“This is the first incident of its kind to have happened in the constituency.
“MP Lusibaea did not accompany the shipment. It was constituency officers who travelled on the barge with the roofing irons.
“But they were unable to do anything.
“They just watch as the men fight over the roofing irons.”
Eye-witnesses said the incident was sparked by disagreement over the names that appeared on the recipients list.
“MP Lusibaea was very disappointed when he was informed about the incident,” the eye-witness said.