WHERE IS THE SHIP?
Quoting the Island Sun newspaper – 11 February 2019
“South Guale chiefs query $5million shipping grant
“A group of five chiefs from South Guadalcanal are demanding an explanation from former MP David Pacha on how the $5million shipping grant the constituency received in 2017 was spent.
“According to a press statement, the chiefs who claimed to be representing Duidui, Talise and Vatukulau ward said they have travelled to Weathercost in South Guadalcanal last week on a fact-finding mission to verify the much awaited ship.
“In the statement the chiefs said the people only heard about the shipping grant and they want to know how the money was spent.
“They said every South Guadalcanal constituent deserves to know the information about the shipping grant.
“It is their democratic right to hold the elected leader accountable for their action,” the statement said.
“The least the former MP can do is to inform the people of South Guadalcanal since his trip to Japan last year.
“He can’t keep us in waiting like this.
“Most of us heard that the shipping grant is $5 million and we want know how the money is spent,” a statement from the chiefs said.”
“They said they understood a delegation was sent to Japan last year to purchase the ship.
“They said transportation remains a stumbling block for the South Guadalcanal constituents over for the last 15 years.
They said with the two airports, Avuavu and Mbabanakira now defunct, sea transport is the only way in and out of South Guadalcanal.
“We need a better shipping service that is reliable for our people their products to Honiara,” they said.
“But, former MP David Pacha clarifies that the $5 million shipping grant was not sufficient and he had to request for additional funds from the government. He did not disclose any details.
“He said the ship needed renovation and modifications which is very costly.
“Mr Pacha said the chiefs were misinformed and only raised the issue to tarnish his good name.
“Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Development Stephen Maesiola said his office is still to receive the request but admitted that the $5 million grant is not enough to purchase a quality ship.
“A similar case was also raised by West Are’Are voters in 2017 demanding truth from the former MP John Maneniaru about a $4 million shipping grant the constituency received in 2016.”
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