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Moves afoot to remove director of infrastructure

MOVES are believed to be afoot to remove the Ministry of Infrastructure Development’s Director of Infrastructure, Harry Rini, as a result of the 2016 shipping grants debacle.

It is understood that the MID Minister and MP for North Malaita, Hon Jimmy Lusibaea has engaged in discussions at the highest political level with the aim of removing Mr Rini from his current job because of the serious allegations against him.

One of the recipients of the shipping grants allegedly told businessman Robert Satu that the price for his boat could be paid in full in 2016 because some of the money had to be used to buy building materials for the Director’s house being built in West Honiara.

Mr Rini has vehemently denied having used any money from the shipping grants on his house, saying he obtained a loan from the bank to build his house.

But in an interview with Island Sun recently, Mr Satu said the recipient had told him that the Director ought to be looked after because he endorses applications for shipping grants.

Mr Satu said the recipient had told him the balance [$1.5 million] on the price of his boat would come from a new grant he had applied for in 2017. But the application for $4 million was rejected, leaving the recipient in huge debt.

It is believed that Minister Lusibaea is pushing for Mr Rini to be removed as the allegations against him were serious enough to warrant such action.

The move has put Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare in a precarious position as he balances his walk on what is truly a thin rope to walk.