Monday, 7 December 2009 7:36 AM

Anti-corruption Comic Hits the Streets of Honiara

Corruption, in all its forms, is the target of a new week-long comic series launched today by RAMSI and the Solomon Islands Government, in partnership with Transparency Solomon Islands.

The campaign uses comic-style posters to increase awareness of common forms of corruption in Solomon Islands, and encourages Solomon Islanders to say 'Naf Nao!' to corruption by taking action to report anyone they believe is involved in corrupt practice.

The comic, which is written in Solomon Islands pijin, has been timed to coincide with International Anti-Corruption Day on Wednesday, 9 December. Each comic tells the story of average Solomon Islanders in everyday situations, and how their lives can be deeply affected by seemingly simple acts of corruption.

The campaign will cover the topics of Bribery (Monday 7 December), Favouritism (Tuesday 8 December), Misuse of funds (Wednesday 9 December), Abuse of power (Thursday 10 December) and What you can do about corruption (Friday 11 December). The series of anti-corruption comics will run in all three of Solomon Islands major newspapers, including being available as a daily pull-out poster insert in the Solomon Star.

"This comic is targeted at helping Solomon Islanders understand that they can take action against some of the common forms of corruption they may come across in their daily working lives," said RAMSI's Deputy Special Coordinator, Justin Fepulea'i.

"We are encouraging all Solomon Islanders who believe strongly in bringing to an end corruption to put these posters up in their workplaces, homes and in the street. It is time for every Solomon Islander to know that they have the right to say 'Naf Nao!' to corruption."

The campaign is supported by a number of agencies in Solomon Islands, including anti-corruption watchdog, Transparency Solomon Islands. Chairman Bob Pollard said he believed the campaign would have a strong impact.

"All Solomon Islanders have a right to expect just and fair representation from their representatives in office and the Solomon Islands public service," said Mr Pollard. "This campaign is designed to help everyone understand what is right and wrong, and what they can do about it."

Special Secretary to Solomon Islands Prime Minister, John Kenipasia, said that corruption and maladministration were critical obstructions in Solomon Islands progress as a nation, and the anti-corruption comic series had the full support of the Sikua Government's Anti-Corruption Taskforce.

"According to ten special audit reports, tens of millions of dollars in public money has been lost due to corruption or maladministration," said John Kenipasia, Special Secretary to the Solomon Islands Prime Minister. "Corruption is one of the greatest hindrances to Solomon Islands progress, and it is time for everyone to say 'Naf Nao' to corruption."

According to 2007 research undertaken by Solomon Islands Office of the Auditor-General, it was found that SBD433 million had been lost or foregone due through corruption or maladministration.

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