Solomons' PM sacks two ministers over corruption allegations

3:19 pm on 4 August 2017

Solomon Islands' Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare has sacked two key ministers in his cabinet.

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Photo: RNZ/Koroi Hawkins

A statement from the prime minister's office confirmed today that the Minister of Mines David Dei Pacha and the Infrastructure Minister Jimmy Lusibaea had been sacked although it indicated that reports in local media that the Minister of Environment Samuel Manetoali had also been sacked were wrong.

The sacking is accompanied by a major cabinet reshuffle which sees the mines portfolio taken up by government back bencher Bradley Tovosia while the Ministry of Fisheries will be filled by Stanley Sofu who is being moved from the Ministry of Police.

Mr Sofu's former portfolio is being taken up by the former Lands Minister Moses Garu who is replaced by backbencher Andrew Manepora'a who has been called up to ministerial duties for the lands portfolio.

Other changes see the Minister of Commerce Elijah Doromuala swapping with his colleague Bradford Marau who headed the Ministry of Justice.

And finally the Education Minister Moffat Fugui also switches places with the Minister for Public Service John Dean Kuku.

The government statement said the reshuffle was because some ministries had been underperforming and the Prime Minister wanted to improve efficiency to make the most of the last year of his government's tenure.

However government sources say the sacking of Mr Lusibaea and Mr Dei Pacha were related to allegations of corruption.

The stability of Manasseh Sogavare's government will also be a concern depending on what kind of weight the sacked ministers carry with other government MPs.

Final list of the reshuffled ministers:

1. Hon Stanley Festus Sofu, MP as Minister for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development;

3. Hon. John Dean Kuku, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Education and Human Resources Development;

4. Hon Moses Garu, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Police, National Security and Correctional Services;

5. Hon. Elijah Doro Muala, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs;

6. Hon. William Bradford Marau, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Commerce, Industries, Labour and Immigration;

7. Hon. Bradley Tovosia, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Mines, Energy and Rural Electrification;

8. Hon John Moffat Fugui, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Public Service;

9. Hon Andrew Manepora'a, MP as the Minister for the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Survey.