Mangaliliu and Lelepa lease is “daylight robbery”

Chief Mormor of Mangaliliu and Cultural Centre Curator Marcelin Ambong today both described the leasing of 2,300 hectares of Mangaliliu and Lelepa land to Kalorib Poilapa of Mele Village as “daylight robbery”. The area is larger than Port Vila.

The Minister of Lands completely disregarded over two years of work on the part of the chiefs and people of Lelepa and Mangaliliu to map and locate the resources of the huge area so that an appropriate community lease could be issued to protect their land against speculators.

Minister Steven Kalsakau, however, got in first and stole it from them. The new lease documents prove it. If this happened anywhere else in the world the Minister would be dismissed and put in prison. The vast area was leased to Poilapa, rumoured to be a proxy for big agricultural interests, for the pitiful sum of Vt 2,500,000, or just Vt 1,087 per hectare.