[Anglican Church of Melanesia] Churches in the Solomon Islands have committed to playing an active part in mitigating the root causes of corruption.
Church leaders attending a three-day conference on Rethinking the Household of God in the Solomon Islands discussed some of the corrupt practices that were negatively impacting on the ability of their country to progress and develop in a ‘just’ and meaningful manner, hindering any normal government’s delivery of its welfare responsibilities.
During a working group session, church representatives identified a host of problems plaguing Solomon Islands’ political leadership, some of which include: self-centred individual interests, lack of transparency, nepotism, non-inclusive decision making processes and little regard or attention to the rule of law.
Church leaders and participants agreed that there was a ‘crisis of leadership’, and in particular a ‘crisis of honesty’ in the Solomon Islands.
“The moral and ethical values that should guide us as a nation is no more,” said the Archbishop of Melanesia, Most Revd David Vunagi.
“In our country, the Solomon Islands, it is unfortunate that corruption has taken precedence over general order, the normal administrative procedures, and, to say the least, there are elements of corruption even in our political system,” Archbishop Vunagi said.
Church participants identified the need to encourage the strengthening and promotion of laws that will lead to the active practices of good governance within public institutions.
“We need to reclaim the prophetic voice of the Church to actively carry out its contribution in helping stem the tide of apathy and hopeless in our country’s political sphere,” Archbishop Vunagi said.
“Churches are well placed to contribute substantially to Solomon Islands’ socio-economic conditions. However, we need to have greater say in the types of economic empowerment programmes created for this end and therefore stand ready to assist in helping to create durable-solutions that affects the lives of our people.”
Churches have now called on the Government to create a more effective process that will bring about meaningful co-operation and partnerships between the Church and the State in the Solomon Islands.
“Churches have committed to demanding a gainful say in formalised platforms of the State that would help them inform national policy and law making processes, instead of playing a nominal part in ceremonial matters on government’s behest,” Archbishop Vunagi said.
In calling for the eradication of corruption in national political and chiefly systems, Churches have committed to doing the same within their own faith based institutions.