Tuesday, 17 July 2012 8:48 AM

Sogavare Condemns Advance

The Solomon Islands Member of Parliament for East Choiseul, Hon. Sogavare has condemned the government for advancing five million dollars from the Millennium Development Fund, funded by Republic of China.

It was alledged that 100-thousand dollars was paid to each parliamentarian to assist participants who came to Honiara for the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts and the 34th Independence anniversary celebration.

Manasseh Sogavare says this is misuse of funds approved by Parliament for specific development and therefore an abuse of cabinet processes to satisfy the narrow political interests of politicians.

He says such an abuse of processes is nothing short of broad daylight corruption at the highest level, camouflaged as assistance to the people.

The Opposition MP says that the agreed procedures to access the Millennium Development Fund and what area of the millennium development goal to fund is through the application form prepared by the constituencies based on constituency development plans not on political decisions of the cabinet.

Mr Sogavare says that the cost of bringing Solomon Islands rural groups to the arts festival and to look after them in Honiara and the satellite venues is the responsibility of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism through the appointed chairman of the Solomon Islands contingent and not MPs.

He says any such funding must come from the consolidated fund, not advances from funds approved by Parliament for specific development.

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