Sunday, August 8, 2010

Makira Election Updates

Central Makira now has a new Member of Parliament. He is Hypolite Taremae. The rural cocoa farmer has unseated former MP Bernard Ghiro with a respectable winning margin. The third runner-up at the polls was Nestor Ghiro, younger brother of the former MP.

In Ulawa-Ugi, James Tora has successfully retained his seat, defeating former Governor-General Nathaniel Waena. Reports from Kira Kira said that Waena had led in most of the polling stations in Ulawa but Tora claimed victory as counting moves to polling stations in Ugi.

In West Makira, counting is in progress. The race is said to be between former MP Japhet Waipora, Jackson Suna'one and Dick Ha'amori.

Counting for East Makira is yet to commence.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

SIWA boss sacked Saturday

07 August 2010 07:31

SOLOMON Islands Water Authority’s (SIWA) recently appointed general manager Fred Ganate has been sacked.

So as SIWA’s manager finance Roger Townsend and manager administration Ruben Tovotou.

SIWA’s new board chairman Phil Bradford announced the sackings yesterday as his board takes steps to improve the operations of the water authority.

It’s believed the trio was sacked for poor performances.

Mr Bradford said Ray Anderson, from manager engineering and operstions, has been appointed manager SIWA.

“The action was the first step the board has planned to streamline and improve the operations of SIWA,” Mr Bradford said.

“Other measures will take place; the public will be kept informed.

“We were fortunate to receive at short notice a sum of money to recruit a contractor to assist with the restructuring of the SIWA finances.

“It is hoped RAMSI, JICA and World Bank as well as others will come to SIWA’s assistance in time to come,” Mr Bradford said.

He said by improving cash flow, funds will be freed up to meet outstanding debts and improve water supply in general.

SIWA owes SIEA some $20 million; this is hindering SIEAs operation in maintaining a proper power supply.

Mr Bradford said metered hydrant standpipes are on order and once arrived it will be necessary for all water delivery contractors to obtain one from SIWA and thus be charged for water drawn from the SIWA mains.

“Operators found ‘stealing’ water by not using a metered standpipe will be liable to prosecution and a fine of up to $5,000 for each offence.

“Plans are underway to move SIWA headquarters to the Tuvaruhu compound and release the present site for redevelopment.

“One or more payment centres will be established around Honiara.

“All SIWA assets are to be valued and assessed to decide weather they are required or not for SIWAs operations.

“Those not required will be disposed or made use of in other ways.

“Once the administration is sorted out it is planned to offer an amnesty period to those consumers who know to have illegal connections.

“After which any illegal connection found could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to $3,000.00 for each offence.

“We will also be encouraging customers with areas or outstanding bills to come forward to avoid legal action.

“SIWA will be running advertisements in respect to the above points in the local media,” Mr Bradford said.

The newly appointed board consists of:

Phil Bradford, Chairman. Former employee of SIEA and for the past 30 years proprietor of an engineering and engineering supplies company. Ethel Francis, Board Member. Ethel has a strong background in accounting and is assisting in that area. Antoinette Wickham, Board member. A former employee of SIWA and a qualified mechanical & environmental engineer, she will be assisting in those areas. David Laurie, Board Member. A former employee of SIEA, electrical engineer and now a World Bank appointed board member of SIEA. David has extensive engineering and management background.

Mr Bradford said the Ministry of Finance is also providing advisory support to the board.

“We are confident we can turn SIWA around so as to provide the services the Honiara and other communities expect of an emerging nation.

“The task will not be easy and will take time.

“Some medicine is not sweet but must be taken to survive.

“We look forward to the support of the community so we can help the community by providing a better water supply.”


Monday, August 2, 2010

Former West Makira MP punched by angry voters

Unconfirmed 'stories' have reported that the outgoing MP for West Makira Constituency, Mr. Japhet Waipora was punched by angry voters during his campaigning in Arosi region of Makira. The voters accused Waipora of making false promises and when Mr. Waipora tried to explain, the voters, who reports said were mainly youths, retalitated by punching him on the head.

A person who was passing by in his OBM- powered boat and happened to call to shore at the village Waipora was campaigning and where the incident occurred said that he was approached by the former MP and was asked if he could help him 'escape' the scene.

Waipora, a two-term parliamentarian and a retired long-serving civil servant is vying for his third term in Parliament and second term in the West Makira seat. The same seat is currently being eyed by 14 other candidates, including a former MP and long-time politician, Mr. Jackson Suna'one.

Jackson Suna'one, younger brother of the late Solomon Mamaloni was voted into Parliament in what many believed to be a 'symphathy vote' in a by-election after the death of his brother. He won by a landslide victory during that by-election but failed to return in the general election that followed.

Reports said that despite two previous unsuccessful unattempts to return to Parliament, he is currently the 'hot' candidate at this round and that it is very highly likely that the individual(s) that have man-handled poor Waipora may have been his supporters.