31 Jul 2019

Solomons govt to launch anti-corruption commission this year

7:20 am on 31 July 2019

The Solomon Islands government is planning to launch the country's first Independent Commission Against Corruption before the end of the year.

Solomon Islands new governor general Reverend David Vunagi addresses parliament. 29 July 2019

Solomon Islands new governor general Reverend David Vunagi addresses parliament. 29 July 2019 Photo: Parliament Media

The announcement was made in parliament by the Governor General Reverend David Vunagi on Monday, during his maiden speech in parliament.

"Corruption is rife in our country and is a cancerous tumour that is eating away at the fabric of our life," Rev Vunagi said.

"The government is pleased to announce that the establishment and launch of the Solomon Islands Independent Commission Against Corruption is on track," he said.

"We are confident that the Solomon Islands Commission Against Corruption office will be up and running before the end of this year."

The committee set up to establish the commission is in the process of selecting suitable commissioners.

But legislation enabling the commission has been criticised because it will not allow corruption cases which occurred before the date the legislation was passed to be investigated.

Rev Vunagi, who took up office on 7 July, Solomon Islands' Independence Day, made his maiden speech, or speech from the throne, at the opening of the second meeting of the eleventh parliament.

He congratulated parliamentarians on their election and offered them some counsel.

"Your people have mandated you to represent them for the next four years. This is an awesome responsibility that needs some guidance and clear vision. I trust that you will discharge your duties with due diligence and integrity," Rev Vunagi said.

As well as MPs, David Vunagi called on all Solomon Islanders to remember their individual and collective duty to nation building.

"We must be vigilant as custodians of our natural resources and be good role models to our youth. We should not be reliant on aid donors and politicians to provide cash handouts. This handout mentality must stop. It is slowly killing us," he said.

The governor general wrapped up his speech by thanking international donor partners for supporting the development of Solomon Islands.

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