It’s a loan, says PM
PRIME Minister Manasseh Sogavare says he and his family obtained a loan of $1.5 million to purchase two parcels of land in the Henderson area of east Honiara.
Mr Sogavare offered the explanation in parliament yesterday after the land purchase and the source of funding came under scrutiny.
“No, we don’t get money anywhere. We obtained a loan. Go and check ANZ bank,” Mr Sogavare told parliament in response to questions raised over the land purchase.
“I’ve a number of properties that the bank used to spread the charge over them. This is why it does not exist on the land transfer documents,” he added, pointing to the documents in his hands.
“It was an ANZ cheque that we used to purchase the land.”
Mr Sogavare’s land buy became an issue because in any property conveyance, banks will always ensure that they register a charge over the property which they provide loan for.
In the case of PM’s $1.5 million land purchase, there is no charge registered over the two properties bought by the PM from Kenneth Munro and his wife.
This sparked suspicions that the prime minister may have purchased the land and a house on one of the plots using cash/cheque.
“I wish I have $1.5 million,” Mr Sogavare.
He urged his critics to go and check with ANZ.
Due to business-client confidentiality, ANZ Bank was not prepared to comment on the issue yesterday.
Mr Sogavare said there was no law stopping him as prime minister from obtaining loans and buying properties.
He said he was at loss to understand this kind of thinking.
This kind of thinking, Mr Sogavare added, will not make us progress.
He said such people don’t want to see others improve in life
“When they see others coming up, they would like to shoot them down,” Mr Sogavare said.
He questioned why he was singled out when other MPs too owned properties in Honiara.
By OFANI EREMAE