Honiara City Council Criticized For Letting Former Mayor Stay In Residence

Three months after Fatai resignation, replacement Mua not able to move into official house

By Aatai John 

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Nov. 17, 2016) – Three months after his disgraceful resignation, former city mayor Alfrence Fatai is still occupying the mayor’s residence at Tavio Ridge, west Honiara.

And this is costing the council $5,000 [US$636] a month in rent, which the council has to pay the current mayor Andrew Mua, who is living in his private residence.

How long this goes on is not certain but the public is gravely concern.

“For a city council that struggles to meet its obligation to the people, this is terribly unacceptable,” a Honiara resident, John Mau, told theSolomon Star yesterday.

“Mr Fatai must vacate the mayor’s residence now so that Mr Mua could move in,” he added.

“What is Mr Mua and the city clerk doing about this wastage of public money? Didn’t they know that the council always had this budget deficit every year?”

City mayor Mr Mua has confirmed Mr Fatai is still occupying the official residence.

“Fatai has no place to move to because he’s still building his house,” Mr Mua said.

“So we are giving him a little bit of time to complete his house before he could vacate the official residence,” he added.

“It would be inhumane for us to force him out while he has no place to move.”

He said the $5,000 rental paid to him monthly is provided for under the Honiara City Act, which offers the mayor the choice to choose where he wants to live.

The council, under Fatai’s leadership, renovated the mayor’s residence at a cost of $300,000 so it is in fine form.

Meanwhile, Mr Mua said the issue of council deficit is not new, but since reclaiming power, he said he’s working on improving council finances.

Furthermore, he said his current leadership does not entertain private companies to do contract jobs unless the work is technical in nature and beyond their capability, before they could put it out on tender.

Most works, he said, were done by council employees who are paid salaries.

Solomon Star
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