HONIARA – the nation’s administrative heartbeat – went into a 36-hour lockdown, which ended this morning.
What, if anything has the nation achieved, let alone learned from the unlawful exercise, appropriately described as “misapplication of the law?”
Put it another way, what has $1.8 million bought for the 160, 000 or so residents of Honiara in the past 36 hours – the duration of the lockdown?
The truth of the matter is that the exercise has incurred huge losses, not only for businesses but also in depriving.
We say the nation achieved nothing. We say the $1.8 million burned up in just 36 hours was a complete waste of money. It is a misuse of public funds for the misapplication of the law.
As former High Court Judge, Sir Frank Kabui argued, police have no jurisdiction to enforce the State of Public Emergency (SOPE) regulations, which the government has promoted to appear as if it is above the Constitution – the supreme law of the land. No laws or regulations are above the Constitution.
Police told a joint news conference last week that 32 per cent of the funding would be used to pay allowances of officers and others who work during the lockdown.
It can only be assumed that allowances of frontline workers such as nurses are also included.
Many are still complaining that they had not been paid dues owed to them. But that’s another story.
Thirty-two per cent of the funding account for $576, 000 of the total funding. One would assume that the difference of $1,224,000 would have been spent on truck hires, fuel and so on.
In every undertaking there is a cause and effect. In the lockdown, which has just ended, what is the effect of this costly exercise in terms of result? There is none. There is no effect in the exercise because there never was and never is an emergency.
The lockdown has been a “shove it down the throat” approach without a legal basis.
It is brought in by authorities who care more about their own individual vested interests than in the interest and welfare of the citizens of this nation.
There is no doubt self interest is driving this country towards a cliff. One seasoned lawyer puts it this way, “this is the time when everyone in the nation should come together to push for change.”