Solomon Islands NGO Criticizes Government's Failure To Address Corruption

FSII marks International Anti-Corruption Day with peaceful protest

By Charles Kadamana

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 7, 2016) – Forum Solomon Islands International (FSII) members will mark the International Anti-corruption Day this Friday with a peaceful protest over government failures to fight against corruption.

President of FSII’s Benjamin Afuga said, normally on such occasion it is good time for the government, civil societies including lobby groups to raise issues and awareness about corruption.

He said FSII will use the day to protest against the government's failure to fulfill its promises delivered by the Prime Minister last year.

Afuga said the Prime Minister in his speech last year articulated well on corruption, its effects and highlighted his government's immediate plans to fight corruption head-on.

He said one of promises highlighted by the Prime Minister was to bring to parliament the two anti-corruption legislations on the first quarter of 2016 and others to follow suit in the next part of 2016.

“These were all false, therefore as citizens we must tell the PM and his government to do more in this fight.

“We must ask why they have done nothing. We must demand explanations and we must show our disapproval for their lack of commitment,” he said.

Mr Afuga said FSII is a responsible body and will always ensure it abides by the laws of this country when demonstrating its disapproval.

He clarified that the peaceful protest is non-violent and asks the public not to misunderstand the purpose of the protest.

“Some people already flared up stories that the march is a separate one and may trigger violence.

“This is wrong and a lie by those wanting to disrupt FSII’s peaceful intention.

“Perhaps when people hear the word “protests” they conclude its going to be violent.

“Solomon Islanders need to organize more peaceful protests so that we know what a peaceful protest is,” he said.

He said FSII has been an active frontier in the fight against corruption in this country and for the past four years or so was always involved in marking the International Anti-corruption Day.

He said the peaceful protest march is just a demonstration of FSII’s disapproval of the manner the DCCG has dealt with the fight against corruption in this country.

“FSII will join the march just like other invited participants but will be wearing red T-shirts and carry banners and placards with appropriate messages to tell and remind the Prime Minister, Ministers and government leaders to do more in the fight against corruption.

“FSII will also questions why his promises made last year were never fulfilled.

“FSII calls on its members to join the march from HCC to the Art Gallery and participate in other program activities by wearing red T-shirt on the day,” he said.

Mr Afuga said there will be a question and answer session on the Government’s Anti-corruption strategy; therefore this is an opportunity to ask questions about the government’s commitment to fight corruption.

He said another session of questions and answers will be on the LCC, Ombudsman [special provision], Integrity whistle blowers and the Freedom of Information Bills, which were among the seven legislation promised to be brought to parliament this year.

Officials from these integrity institutions will be present therefore it is another good opportunity to ask questions.

Meanwhile FSII called on the Prime Minister to keep its citizen informed of the status of these very important legislation in the fight against corruption.

He said FSII considered these legislations as weapons to fight the war of corruption.

“Corruption is considered as one of the biggest problems in the world. It affects both government and private sectors. It affects basic services such as health and education and continues to segregate citizens in terms of standards and status.

“It is everybody’s business to fight corruption, therefore please come along and join the march against corruption this Friday. Come and sweat out for the fight against corruption,” he said.

Members from other parts of the country and the globe are kindly asked to wear read, carry their placards, take pictures and post on FSII on the day.

He called on the members to design and post up banner, placard messages for Admin and management to recommend for example;

  • “No More Promises, Deal With Corruption.”
  • “The Fight Against Corruption Begins with Actions.”
  • "Please Bring the ACB to Parliament now.”
  • “Whistle Blowers Must be Protected.”
  • “DCCG Stop Corruption.”
  • “Corruption Segregate Citizens.”

He called on the members not to use hate or abusive messages on the day.

The march will start at 8:00am from the HCC compound to the National Art Gallery.

Solomon Star
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