FORMER Renbel premier Lence Tango has accused his deserted ministers of accepting bribes from a logging company operating in the province.
Mr Tango claimed Samlimsun bribed the ministers to join the non-executive bench in fear of “my government kicking them out of Renbel”.
“I have a high court case with Samlimsun for failing to pay their dues and log illegally. My executive therefore decides to take this matter to court after giving full approval for the company to vacate Renbel,” Mr Tango said.
“Samlimsun failed to pay $1.8 million and following discussions with them, they agree to doze the station.
“The company’s operation on Luchuchi land was also illegal and they should have paid the province $848,000 which they never did and that has forced us to take the company to court.
Another company is Apid, which also owed the province $500,000 and after discussions only paid $200,000.
He said these are issues his executive wanted to clear and ensure only proper investors invest on Renbel and not those with middle men like the logging companies.
Mr Tango said it was because of his executive’s decision to kick these loggers out from Renbel that they turned around and influence ministers to switch and form a new government for fear of being ordered out of the province.
He said he had no doubt in his mind that these ministers must be bribed because they were the ones who made the decision to kick the companies out but then turned and did the opposite.
“It does show these ministers were bribed. How could you resign at the last minute when only a few months left before our term ends?
“What do you expect to do within this time period? A person in his right mind will definitely know it has to be something forcing these ministers to switch,” Mr Tango said.
But the three ministers and two backbenchers who deserted said they resigned for reasons the premier is using his office to collect and access provincial revenues for his personal and political interests.
They also denied any allegations of bribery.
But Mr Tango said his ministers must be blind-folded to make such comment.
“Since 19 March 2013 after taking over office, $600,000 has gone missing and there were no proper records of these missing funds.
“But I tried my best and we were able to recover that funds to ensure we continue to receive government funding,” Mr Tango said.
He said despite having only two years in office, he had been able to bring top government officials to celebrate Renbel’s second appointed day, which past leaders never did.
“The prime minister promised the province $3 million to assist us build our assembly hall and that the province has won the bid to host the Solomon games and continue to maintain the flow of services to the province despite difficulties the province faced.”
Mr Tango said if the ministers deny they were bribed by loggers then ask them who is paying for their bill at the Pacific Casino Hotel.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA