Solomons Opposition Slams Ministry Over Land Debt List
HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 9, 2012) – Opposition leader Dr. Derek Sikua says the failure by the Solomon Islands Ministry of Lands to publish the wholelist of government land rental debtors in the Solomon Star on Wednesday as promised by the Permanent Secretary brings into question the integrity of his office.
Stanley Wale last week denied reports obtained from the Ministry of Lands by the Opposition Leader that Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo had directed theomission of his name and names of Government Ministers and Backbenchers from the list of land rental debtors published in the Island Sun last Tuesday.
Mr. Wale said his Ministry was only able to publish the first 10 pages of the whole list of land rental debtors in the Island Sun last due to financial constraints however added that the Ministry had secured funds to publish the entire list on Wednesday in the Solomon Star.Dr. Sikua claimed that the list of debtors published by the Island Sun only carried the names of Members of the Opposition and the Independent Group and members of the public.
This he said was despite the fact that the Prime Minister himself and a number of Government Ministers and Backbenchers also have land rentals owing to the government.
"The failure by the Ministry of Lands to publish the entire list of government land rental debtors in the Solomon Star on Wednesday as promised by the Permanent Secretary brings into question his integrity and that of the office he holds.
"Furthermore, it is an act of injustice against all the land rental debtors whose names had to be publicized in the Island Sun."
He said it would have been fair on all debtors had the Ministry awaited the availability of sufficient funds for the publishing of the entire list at once.
The Opposition Leader said he believes had the Ministry followed the normal order of its debt listing, the Prime Minister’s name should have been published in the Island Sun last Tuesday as he is one of the highest arrears debtors.
"I am interested to know what criteria was used to omit some names from the original list and if really there is still a whole list of land rental debtors still to be published other than the Prime Minister and his Cabinet Ministers and backbenchers.
"These are valid points that the Permanent Secretary should clarify rather than just simple accusing me of lying and blaming financial constraints to cover up the Prime Minister’s apparent corrupt act," the Opposition Leader said.
He meanwhile calls on the Prime Minister not to use his cronies to cover up his "corrupt act" with misinformation.
The list will now be published tomorrow.Solomon Star
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