11 October 2018
Solomon Islands: Disturbing allegations surface over Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) grants controlled by Members of Parliament.
At a time when the Solomon Islands Government has past enabling anti-corruption legislation to curb corruption and the Prime Minister has gone out of his way to assure business and world leaders that the Solomon Islands is ensuring accountable and honest government, a rather disturbing report surfaced today in the Island Sun newspaper written by local veteran journalist Alfred Sasako.
In the article, Mr. Sasako, said, in an opening paragraph:
“When the Government introduced the ‘Preferred Supplier’ policy in 2016, no one ever thought one supplier would be raking in the lion share of the controversial Constituency Development Fund (CDF) grants controlled by Members of Parliament.”
His article went onto to make further allegations, and I will quote.
A special investigation by Island Sun found that one company (name withheld) has picked up handsomely from government funding.
Figures obtained by Island Sun show the company, which sells vehicles, vehicle parts, Lucas mill and other hardware, clocked up more than $233 million between 2012 and September this year.
In 2012 for example, payments to the company were slightly more than just $1.6 million. The following year, however, payments to the company skyrocketed to more than $10. 4 million. From then on, the increased payments simply continued skyward.
A woman spoken to could not say whether Members of Parliament bought vehicles from the company as the boss was away overseas.
Meanwhile it has been revealed that much of the payments to a certain Constituency have gone into a private bank account of a Member of Parliament.
Whether the allegations raised by Mr. Sasako are true or not, it surely must be in the interest of the Solomon Islands Government to have such alleged ‘corruption’ actions investigated and appropriate and swift action taken if substantiated.