A FORMER top government official has been picked as Honiara City Council’s new clerk.
Rence Sore, a former permanent secretary and special secretary to the Prime Minister, replaces Charles Kelly, whose contract ended last December.
Controversial as it may, the appointment was not a surprise to many.
When new city mayor Wilson Mamae came into power earlier this year, he quickly engaged Sore to draft his government’s first 100-day in office strategic plan.
Mamae and Sore were once political appointees in the Prime Minister’s Office.
Sore was a long-serving respected public officer but his time as special secretary to Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in 2015 has been overshadowed by controversy.
He was accused of dealing with international con men who came in as foreign investors and promised to build five star hotels, rebuild Honiara’s poor road system, as well as building a new hospital for Malaita.
None of the promises was fulfilled and the so-called foreign investors were later found to be con men who came into the country with hidden motives.
The Government lost face, Sogavare lost his position and Sore was later removed from his job.
Sore’s early engagement by Mamae raised eyebrows, and critics questioned the appointment.
Yesterday, critics questioned why the position has not been advertised.
“Is the clerk’s position now a political job?” one critic asked.
Comments are being sought from Sore and city mayor Mamae.
By ANDREW FANASIA