Vanuatu daily news digest | 24 October 2012

Caretaker Minister of Lands Steven Kalsakau’s letter ordering the allocation of land in Vila and Luganville for staff is on page 3 of Daily Post today. Transparency International Vanuatu (TIV) warns that such land purchases are highly likely to be challenged in court. Kalsakau says 50% of the premium is required and only 10% enables the transfer, according to the Minister’s letter to the Acting Director of Lands, Peter Pata, also one of the recipients of the dodgy land.

This blog is aware of at least one such transfer already being on-sold to an Asian businessman in the Freswota area. With an original sale of dubious legality (and even more dubious ethics) subsequent sales may also be faced with court action. Potential buyers should be extremely careful. The media and TIV have done their best to ensure the public is aware of this fraudulent activity within the Ministry.

Ministers Alfred Carlot and Marcellino Pipite yesterday pleaded not guilty to boarding the yacht Phocea before Customs, Immigration and Quarantine clearance. Others involved in the matter, however, personnel of the ship, including the captain Richard Bob Malaise pleaded guilty to Senior Magistrate Steven Felix. The case is adjourned to 14 November, Daily Post reports.

There was no political news touching politics on Radio Vanuatu except the launch of the 2011 annual development report of the Government for “accountability and transparency”. Ha ha ha. Possibly the Minister of Finance feels this vernissage is a personal achievement in his Ministry.

However, proxy voting closes today, as headlines on Radio Vanuatu news and in the Daily Post note. Persons holding to the right to vote by proxy for others have until 4.30 pm today to do so.

Tune in on your radio and TV between 11:30 and 1:30 today for the Pacific Institute of Public Policy’s election policy debate at Wan Smolbag at Tagabe. Hopefully the politicians will receive a thorough grilling from the public.

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