Vanuatu daily news digest | 19 October 2012Posted: October 19, 2012
Today, the caretaker Minister of Education Marcellino Pipite (in court next Tuesday on other matters relating to deception) requires DG of Education Jesse Dick to deny what he said yesterday. The DG of Education is now expected to say there is enough money to meet payroll expenses and those expenses required under the Vanuatu Education Road Map. Readers should be very wary of news stories and letters in the paper which do not give the writer’s name.
The letter in today’s Daily Post attacking Jesse Dick for daring to utter the truth bears the hallmarks of Richard Kaltongga attempt to deflect attention from the gross misconduct of the Minister of Education and the Council of Ministers in the Snoopys scandal.
Daily Post and Radio Vanuatu News have to provide more and more space to Government to “clarify” controversies which are already painfully clear. Yesterday, the DG of Education was quite transparent in his statement that the Ministry had “fully exhausted available funds in its operational budget” for this year. This means the Ministry has no more funds to run Education. There isn’t any money left.
In exactly the same way, we should be be suspicious of claims that “Kaluat clarifies Kilman and Abel’s electoral issues”. Acting Principal Electoral officer Lionel Kaluat is quite clear — Kaluat has not said that that caretaker PM Sato Kilman has paid the rent money he owes to Government. No. Only that Kilman doesn’t owe any VAT. Nobody, however, is accusing him of not paying VAT, or hospital fees or departure taxes. The outstanding invoices are all for lease rent —around VT 13 million worth. What the Electoral Commission should demand to see is a receipt showing that the VT 13 million in rent has been paid by Kilman. The public needs to see this too. Otherwise, there is no proof that Kilman’s candidacy for the October 30 election is valid.
As regards David Abel’s application for candidacy, there is allegedly a Warrant of Imprisonment dated last month still current, says the Principal Electoral Officer, and David Abel has received a suspended sentence of imprisonment. Convicted criminals cannot contest elections. Abel also claims to have land judgements which justify his Vete Association’s claims to areas of Port Vila. He sees Vete’s claims to parts of the capital as at least as strong as those of PM Kilman to Lakatoro.
And the Lands Ministry’s all-out theft of public land for its most corrupt officials goes unpunished. No warrants of arrest or even disciplinary action there. Transparency International Vanuatu sees the Luganville land lease rip-offs as “a total breach of trust and public duty”. And TIV, in today’s Daily Post, also points out how the Government’s public image, its integrity, is diminished by such a scheme.
A former president of Australia’s National Institute of Accountants, Lynette Liles has been sentenced to four years and 11 months in jail in Australia under Project Wickenby, following money laundering offences in Vanuatu. Justice Monika Schmidt of the New South Wales Supreme Court said Liles’ offending was a “repeated, deliberate, calculating and systematic fraud on Australian taxpayers” amounting to AUD5 million, the equivalent of vt475,000,000.
The Australian Government is able to prosecute those who defraud it, why can’t Vanuatu’s Government?