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MPs open sitting with tributes to fallen leaders

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MEMBERS of Parliament yesterday paid tribute to the late Sir Moses Pitakaka and late Fred Fono.

Sir Moses, the third Governor General of Solomon Islands and the late Fono, former deputy Prime Minister and MP for Central Kwara’ae passed away at National Referral Hospital in Honiara before the New Year.

Prime Minister Gordon Darcy Lilo led the obituary speech before the MPs followed tune with their condolence messages to families of both former leaders.

Opposition member and MP for East Choiseul, Manasseh Sogavare described Fono as someone who had a heart for the country.

He said Fono believed in the biblical word ‘you have to sweat to eat’.

Mr Sogavare said despite differences in political ideologies at times during their political career, they were best friends.

Other also described both leaders as true sons of Solomon Islands for their work in serving the public and other sectors.

Sir Moses GCMG (1945 – 25 December 2011) served as the third Governor-General of the Solomon Islands from 7 July 1994 until 7 July 1999.

Pitakaka was from Choiseul Province.

The late Fono was preparing to take up his new role as the Solomon Islands High Commissioner to Papua New Guinea next year.

He has been the MP for Central Kwara’ae for 13 years from 1997-2010 until he lost the seat to current MP Jackson Fiulaua.

Late Fono served as chief commercial officer of the corporate division of the ministry of commerce & primary industries and as provincial secretary for Malaita province before being elected to Parliament in 1997.

Whilst in Parliament he held various posts such as the Development Planning Minister, deputy Speaker, National Planning Aid Coordination Minister, Opposition Leader and once as the deputy Prime Minister under the Sikua led regime (CNURA).

The 49 year-old former politician is survived by his wife Abby and three children.

By EDDIE OSIFELO