Honiara City Council Pleads Ignorance Of Bus Operator Fiasco

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Striking locals blame city for illegally giving licenses to Chinese

By Biriau Wilson Saeni

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Aug. 10, 2015) – Honiara City Council (HCC) has denied any knowledge of how some Chinese business men entered the bus industry in Honiara City.

The city mayor Alfrence Fatai has decided to speak clearly about this issue to clarify the wrong message that has been circulated around which claimed that the Council has knowledge of the Chinese involvement in the bus industry in the country.

He said, the council only deals with business licenses of buses operating in Honiara City, but it is not the body that actually gave the Chinese business men the green light to operate bus in the county.

Asked about who gave the green light for Chinese to run buses in Honiara, Mr. Fatai said,the Ministry of Commerce would know the answer to the question.

There are businesses which are reserved for only local people which he said, "only the Ministry of Commerce can enlighten us about."

At the moment he said, he has no idea if the bus industry in the county is reserved for only local people as believed by the local bus operators.

After the five hours strike by local bus drivers and conductors last week to show their frustration towards the continuous increase in the number of Chinese owned buses operating in Honiara City, the locals quickly point fingers at the City Council as the main instigator behind the involvement of Chinese in the business which is wrong according to city mayor.

With that the City Mayor has called on the local bus owners to sort out the Honiara Bus Association as a body where they can voice their concern through.

"If only the local bus owners can work together and strengthen the bus association, it will be easy to for them to channel their issues to the responsible authorities through the association for addressing."

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