The calls by the National Parliamentary Opposition for an immediate investigation into the SBD$1Million hotel bill, reportedly paid by the Government to the Honiara Hotel, has been described by the Government as pure political propaganda.In an interview with the Acting Prime Minister Mr. Fred Fono over the weekend, he said that according to the Ministry of Finance the Bill is far less than the One Million quoted by the Opposition group.
The Opposition Leader, Manasseh Sogavare had claimed that the SBD$1 Million dollar bill was incurred by the Coalition of National Unity and Rural Advancement Government (C-NURA) MPs during the lobbying period last year. Sogavare said that the usage of government finances to pay for an unofficial bill is totally irresponsible and does not speak well of a government that claims to be determined to tackle corruption. He said Solomon Islands cannot afford to pay for the luxurious living of politicians when it is struggling to finance even essential services like health and education.
However, Fono said that the bills referred to by the Opposition Leader were those of the visit of the Taiwan Vice President and the launching of the CNURA translation and implementation policy, both of which were hosted at the Honiara Hotel. Mr. Fono said other bills included those Ministers who were kicked out by Sogavare, without notice for them and their families, when he tried to retain government last year. Fono stated that interestingly enough some of the bill included Government functions during the tenure of the Sogavare Government.