Sogavare protects Nazar Group: Opposition

PM claims arrangement done through his wife

THE Parliamentary Opposition has released a document showing the Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare’s personal interest with Nazar Group of Companies Limited.

The Opposition says a letter written by the owner and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sukru Cebi on 29th September this year, shows that Mr Cebi has a personal connection with the Prime Minister as he is renting one of the Prime Minister’s homes at Lungga, east Honiara.

The letter, personally addressed to the Prime Minister and his wife, was written by the Nazar owner to terminate his tenancy agreement signed with the Prime Minister on 15th April 2015.

The Opposition says the tenancy agreement was by the Prime Minister and the Nazar boss just two days after they met at Prime Minister’s office on 13 April 2015, in which the $387 million proposed Malaita hospital project, was announced.

“However, close associates to the Prime Minister have revealed to the Opposition that although the CEO had written to terminate the tenancy agreement, the Prime Minister has insisted that the agreement be reviewed and remains,” the Opposition claimed.

“The sequence of these events leaves no doubt that the Prime Minister has established a personal interest with the company; an interest that clouded his ethical standing and demeans the office that he occupies.

 “The letter itself has proved beyond doubt the Prime Minister’s personal interest with the Nazar Company.

“The Prime Minister’s continuous defiant stance to protect and safeguard the company despite overwhelming evidences suggesting that the company is not genuine further proves the Prime Minister’s personal interest with the company,” the statement said.

It added this only comes to prove why the Prime Minister has been so protective over such investors all along; in this case the Nazar Company and similarly to the Skyline Investment Group.

“As prime minister of this country the best thing he could have done is to make a simple and rationale decision to avoid involving his private business in matters of national interest.

“As the leader of this county he cannot afford to make such simple and incorrect judgments.

“He must be reminded that as the prime minister his primary responsibility is for the betterment of the country and not to use his status to fill up his own pocket,” it said.

Responding to the accusations last night, Mr Sogavare said the arrangement for the company to rent his house was done through his wife.

“No, I don’t have any personal interests with the company and I’m not protecting them,” he said.

“The only thing I knew is they rented our house at Lungga,” the prime minister added.

He also dismissed accusations he insisted on Nazar renting his house after the tenancy agreement was terminated.

“I was never desperate for someone to rent the house because many people have expressed their interest to move in.

“The truth of the matter is after the company left the house, they decided later to return to our house and continuing renting it.

“I never call them back or insisted they come back,” Mr Sogavare said.

He said the Opposition is using this as a political bait to pull MPs from the government side to support them in their planned motion of no-confidence.

“Seems like the Opposition has no good stories to put in the media on national interest so they are resorting to speculations and nonsense to feed the public.”

Meanwhile, Mr Sogavare said he was surprised at an Opposition’s failed “evil strategy” to kidnap three government ministers and locked them up at a Brisbane hotel.

He claimed the Opposition was planning to lock up his deputy Manasseh Maelanga and ministers William Marau and Stanley Festus Sofu while transiting in Brisbane this week.

They are believed to be on their way to the Head of Commonwealth Meeting in Malta.

Mr Sogavare said East Fataleka MP and Opposition member Steve Abana arrived in Brisbane with the ministers but it was unfortunate for him to fulfill the plan because the ministers flew out the same day.

Source: Solomon Star