A FORMER Malaita Provincial Assembly Member has refute claims by Malaita provincial secretary Jackson Gege that the delay in salary payments to provincial employees was a result of a huge debt created by the former provincial government.
The former member of East Are’are Ward 19 Slade Abae said blaming the former provincial government for incurring this huge debt is not true.
“The Suibaea led-government attempt to put Malaita on track and the huge debt incurred from illegal borrowing is the current making of the MART Government.
“Therefore, the government must be cautious when it comes to borrowing as there are legitimate bodies for lending rather than illegal borrowing from private business houses,” Mr Abae said.
On Thursday more than 50 provincial government employees gathered in front of the Malaita premier’s office demanding immediate release of their salaries.
Mr Gege told the provincial employees that the provincial finance is in “money-strapped situation”.
He said the reasons were because of the $1.6million payment for the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) and the province’s effort to repay huge debt incurred by the past government.
However, Mr Abae said the $1.6 PCDF payment should not affect the province’s finance.
“Mr Gege’s clarification on the $1.6million payment for the Provincial Capacity Development Fund (PCDF) does not make sense at all since that fund is mainly for capital project, leave it out,” Mr Abae said.
“The connecting of blame on successive provincial government for the huge illegal borrowing incurs which result in non-payment of the employees should not be the prime excuse.”
The former Are’are provincial member said he felt for the provincial employees whose salaries are delayed.
Meanwhile, Mr Gege promised to sort out the salary payments last Friday.
By TEDDY KAFO