18 Oct 2013

Solomons civil society leader accuses PM of orchestrating job loss

4:42 pm on 18 October 2013

A Solomon Islands civil society leader is accusing the prime minister Gordon Darcy Lilo of causing him to lose his job.

The Joint Civil Society Group's chairperson Barnabas Henson says he had only been working for Evita Solomons Limited for a week when he was asked to end his involvement in politics or resign.

Mr Henson, who has spearheaded a campaign to have Mr Lilo step down, says Evita plans to grow cash crops in Mr Lilo's electorate, Kolombangara Island.

Mr Henson says Evita's chief executive told him the prime minister had threatened the company would not be granted tax exemptions unless it ended his employment or he stopped his political activities.

"What a lot of people don't understand is that the prime minister or not even the minister of finance has the power to award exemptions under the act except under the exemption committee themselves, they award and then make that recommendation to the minister of finance who grants the exemption."

Barnabas Henson says he is going to take legal action over the matter.