SINU saga: Trade Unions meet on demand for removal of Vice-Chancellor

By David Tuhanuku Tony Kagovai
President, SICTU General Secretary, SICTU

01 July, 2020

The demand for the removal of the Vice Chancellor of the Solomon Islands National University, SINU, is going to be the main agenda item for an Urgent Extraordinary Meeting of the National Executive of the Solomon Islands Council of Trade Unions (SICTU) to be held in Honiara tomorrow.

A Press Statement from SICTU says that all the Presidents and National Secretaries of the country’s trade unions, have been invited to attend this important SICTU meeting.

The Press Statement says that tomorrow’s SICTU Extraordinary meeting will give the two Executives of the Lecturers Association of Solomon Islands National University LASINU, and the Solomon Islands National University General Staff Association, SINUGSA to provide the SICTU National Executive about the current SINU dispute.

LASINU and SINUGSA expressed serious concern about the way the Vice Chancellor is conducting the administrative and financial affairs of the University, describing the Vice Chancellor’s actions and decisions as reflecting outright nepotism, corruption, and coated with clear personal business and commercial interests.

The two SINU trade unions have already provided the responsible Minister and Chairman of the Council Mr, Togamana with written details of actions and decisions that the two SINU trade unions view as outright nepotism to the Chairman of the SINU Council, Doctor Culwick Togamana, who is also the Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management, and Meteorology.

Solomon Islands Herald Online informed that the University’s staff has accused the vice-chancellor of:

  1. Financial mismanagement and abuse of procurement processes
  2. Influencing payment of consultants with incomplete work
  3. Recruiting his own relatives/wantoks to positions that could be filled locally
  4. Copy and paste of Fiji National University policies
  5. Spying of emails of staff
  6. Abuse of recruitment/conflict of interest

Details of these allegations have been compiled and sent to the chair of the University Council Dr. Togamana.