Interim Chairperson of the JCSG & CC group, Barnabas Henson. Photo: SIBC

Interim Chairperson of the JCSG & CC group, Barnabas Henson. Photo: SIBC

The Joint Civil Society Groups and Concerned Citizens have called out the Prime Minister’s denial that MPs are enriching themselves with constituency development funds, saying the claims shows he is ignorant of the almost zero-level impact the funds have on the rural economy in Solomon Islands.

In a statement, Acting CEO Barnabas Henson says the Prime Minister’s claim that constituency development funds are reaching people through Constituency Development Officers is a complete “myth”.

Mr Henson also said transparency and accountability is non-existent in how the funds are managed, and this gives room for MPs to abuse their powers for self-gain, personal wealth, and social status.

He said evidence of this can be clearly seen around the country, particularly in Honiara.

He said MPs own shipping companies, businesses, real estate, luxury vehicles, and so forth in Honiara while roads, bridges, wharves, schools, health posts in the rural areas remain derelict and neglected.

He said the Constituency Development Fund Act is a “legal smokescreen” that legalizes MPs discretionary handling of millions of dollars in the form of Constituency Development Funds.

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