One arrested, more to follow, says SSPM Kabui
One person has been arrested and more to follow, confirms the Special Secretary to the Prime Minister Albert Kabui in a press conference today.
A group of Malaitans was planning to march from the Kukukm field to the Office of the Prime Minister at Town Ground on Monday to deliver a petition they claimed contained the concerns of the people of the province. That proposed march did not happen and the spokesman for the Malaitans stated then that the petition would be resubmitted to the PMO at a later date as it required additional information like contact person and address.
The Malaitans claimed that the petition had been delivered to the PMO—an assertion the office denied.
Today, Kabui has reiterated that stating that they had not received the petition.
“We have not received the petition. Usually, it comes to me before it goes to the PM. I have not received it on my desk or anyone calling to give it to me,” he said.
When pressed if the PMO will be responding to the petition, he replied: “Yes we are more than happy.” He he adds, they can’t now as they have not received it.
Meanwhile both Kabui and the Attorney General John Muria Jr. have confirmed that one arrest has been made since Monday.
When asked if any arrests were made, Kabui replied: “One arrest. More to follow.”
Muria in addition said one arrest has been made and investigation is ongoing and there might be some more (arrests) coming on in the week.
Meanwhile Kabui told explained to journalists that the protest is a police matter as it is a law and order issue whilst the petition they will respond to it once they receive it.
According to Muria, under the Emergency Powers Regulation that in any emergency zone public assembly is prohibited unless there is an order by the PM allowing that to happen.
The three emergency zones. They include: Western border, Honiara and Malaita Outer Island.
This means that the public assembly on Monday was illegal and a breach of the regulations.
The arrest of the person was related to the violation as public assembly is prohibited in Honiara.