The Solomon Islands Herald
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WALE CALLS ON GOVERNMENT TO EXPLAIN MAMARA DEVELOPMENT PAYMENT CLAIM

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Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale calls on the government to explain the claim by Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd for payment in relation to houses built under the Mamara Township Development Project.

The call was made after reports suggested that Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd has put in a claim for payment of more than $21m from the government for more than 20 houses built to date under the Mamara – Tasivarongo – Mavo Development Agreement.

“This twist now takes the debate on this project to new heights. For all we know, the agreement was ratified by an Act of the same name passed by Parliament and gazetted around 1st March 1996. This year makes it 27 years after signing and one cannot help but wonder whether the agreement is still valid,” says Hon. Wale.

He points out that the current investor is probably the second to take up the project in the last 4 years and the original agreement was with Metropolis Pacific PTE Ltd, a company registered in Singapore.

He went on to add that, “The letter of demand on the other hand was issued for Metropolis Mamara Development Ltd, a locally registered company. Are these the same company or not? If they are, has the time that has passed affected the agreement at all or not? If they are not the same company and given the time lapse, have the terms of the agreement ever been repudiated and what steps had been taken to contextualise the terms?”

He says Section 2 (2) of the Act requires any amendment to the agreement to be met by appropriate amendments to the Act also.

“Clause 27 of the agreement further requires any changes made to be placed before Parliament. This is a safety net providing opportunity for Parliament to review matters such as prices, budgetary constraints and changes in laws amongst others. Someone must explain what is going on. Thus it is very important that answers be provided.

“Looking at the claimed figure and the planned total number of houses, this project is going to cost the government big time and this clearly runs contrary to Government promises to focus our limited resources on protecting our country from Covid 19, and growing our resource sector. This deal signals a major hole which is going to drain our limited finances if anything.

“I therefore call on the Prime Minister to come out clear and explain the situation. The public at large and tax payers whom are going to be affected need to know what is going on,” the Opposition Leader further adds.

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