I wish to shift the discussion on RCDF to a more relative one of RCDF, Development, and participation because looking at it more thorougly th problems related to leadership and RCDF in Solomon Islands are to an extent mutually exclusively. Hence, we can only make better illustrations of the pros and cons of RCDF when we measure it against development and to an extent the role of civil society participation in governance. For a historical perspective of RCDF I suggest people to log on to http://degalicliff.blogspot.com to read an article by one of the contributors of the that particular blog in which he outlined the historical context of the RCDF.
Anyway, when looking at RCDF against development over the years it has been established, to say that no development has ever occurred from RCDF is totally misleading and undermines reality. The benefits RCDF has brought to Solomon Islanders since its enforcement must not be understated. Mind you, I am not saying that it has not been misappropriated or abused, I am saying that we ought to be careful in our anayses if we are truelly concerned about paving the way towards the light. Misinformation can be detrimental to soceital grownth and development, at least in the formulation of sound policies and regulations. The truth of the matter is that RCDF is only problematic in constituencies where their members are not transparent and honest in thier use of the fund. In many constituencies sustainable and viable development had transpired over the years through the funds. In my constituency a health clinic was built and many lives have been saved since its establishment.
Even our continuous claims that RCDF has been misused are never substantiated. If these claims are true then why don't we ever have an MP convicted of misusing RCDF? I am not saying that the fund has never been misused. I think we all know that misuses do indeed occur. The question is why the lack of action? This lack of action to only shows that we are only good at making noises but when it comes to the issues that we talk so much about we do nothing- "indeed some things are better said that done, isn't it? Don't deny this, because it has been proven to be so. Remember there is a big difference between a dog that barks and bites and a dog that barks but is without teeth to bite. Hence, if we are really concerned so as to act out our talk thewe should set a better precendence for the future and deal with matters accordingly on how they should be dealt with: again say "action speaks louder than words". In 2007 I am aware that a particular MP was fined by the Leadership Code Commission (LCC) for misuse of RCDF. The other MP who was also accused was not guilty of the accusations made against him. The case was never brought to the courts because the constituents did not do so accordingly.
So I hereby challenge all of us, especially those of us who do NOT agree that "some things are better or easier said than done" to prove thier conotations. You will realise life, and politics- such the situation in Solomon Islands- is not mere black and white...it extends beyond illusion.
It is always easy to brag about what the govenment should do, can do, or must do regarding development, leadership and RCDF but lest we forget, we also have a role to play in monitoring how the MPs behave and thier use of public funds. If we are really truelly concerned about leadership and development in Solomon Islands then why are we too dependent on the government to play its role and so doing overlooking the very important role we ought to undertake ourselves? And if the government is irresponsive why shouldn't we ourselves act on these issues and prove our worth, rather than mere barking?
We should understand by now that the famous saying of JFK about not asking what the government can do for you but what you can do for the government, is not only applicable in economic terms but also in showing individual leadership and patriotism. So time iumi say government should doim this one and doim that one aboutim RCDF and developmet, iu must askem iumi seleva too "What can I do"?....because as ordinary Solomon Islanders if iu mi stay for make noise nothing noma and iumi no actively substantiatem olketa assumptions blo iumi aboutim RCDF then I think iumi need for improve from there and be more proactive...otherwise we will be going around the same cycle over and over and over again, without gain. Or how?
RCDF, Development and Active Participation in Solomon Islands
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter are those of Derick R Manu'ari and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.
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