PRIME MINISTER Hon. Manasseh Sogavare has assured thousands of Gaena Alu Movement followers who congregated over the weekend at Komuvaulu Community, East Guadalcanal that the National Government has taken upon itself the lead role in discussing Customary land management and law reforms.
“My good people of Guadalcanal, chiefs, Women and youth, our government is leading the discussions over customary land management and law reforms,” Prime Minister Sogavare said.
Speaking as guest of honour at the Gaena Alu’s 15th Anniversary celebrations over the weekend, Prime Minister Sogavare said, the Democratic Coalition Government for Advancement, strives to achieve distinctive cultural views of how we should better manage our customary land in terms of providing the overarching land reform policy.
The Prime Minister told the movement, the country needs a policy approach that should be able to put in place an improved legislative framework that;
- Protects the customary land- landowners, landholding groups, families and individual interests over their customary land.
- Is able to protect customary interest and enhance investment on land, thereby facilitate development on customary land.
- Provides for minimum conditions to access customary land and to maximise benefits to landowners on the use of land for development purposes.
In Solomon Islands society, every square inch of land, including alienated land belongs to a tribal landowning group and the government fully acknowledged that position.
The Prime Minister announced, the government is already on top of this issue by working on a land restitution policy.
The Gaena Alu Movement was assured, this policy will recognise the original land owning groups of all alienated land in the country. This is keeping with the position that the government itself must not be landless.
The Prime Minister further acknowledged Guadalcanal Province’s national contributions- hosting the capital city and continuing to allow land to host a number of game changing projects.
He further said, the Government continues reforming non-customary (registered) land policy, zeroing in to the enforcement and compliance with physical planning laws and land tax reforms.
Additionally, the Prime Minister said, the government is also taking measures to look critically into the ‘Mamara Tasivarongo Mavo Development Agreement’ legislation passed by Parliament.
He adds, work on reforming land management and legal systems continue and an announcement on this is expected soon.
Updating the Komuvaolu Gaena Alu movement on the State Government Reforms, Prime Minister Sogavare revealed, he has now received the Draft Federal Constitution from the Constitutional Reform Unit. The government now awaits the completion of the Cost Benefit Analysis for the Federal System.
“I have directed that the Cost benefit Analysis must be immediately carried out and prepared for Cabinet and Parliament to deliberate upon,” updated Prime Minister Sogavare.
Prime Minister Sogavare’s delegation to Komuvaolu over the weekend comprised senior government Ministers and back benchers, Ambassadors and officials representing the British High Commission, New Zealand High Commission, Australian High Commission, the People’s Republic of China and officials from the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Prime Minister Manasseh and madam Sogavare and delegation returned to Honiara Monday (25th/10/21) mid morning.