Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 15 July, 2015Posted: July 15, 2015
No Digest yesterday owing to your editor having reporting duties in abundance, but finally, not a lot to say about the main one. Never-the-less, Post has it today on the front page. The bribery Preliminary Inquiry (the PI) will be heard on Tuesday 21 July at 2.30 pm. Sixteen MPs – a number of them cabinet ministers – are accused of bribery and being prosecuted by the Acting Public Prosecutor, John William Timakata.
Today Post also tells us that the Reserve Bank has rejected Bank South Pacific’s bid to purchase the operations of Westpac Vanuatu Ltd. Westpac continues banking for the time being as, it says, the period post-Pam “is not considered as a time for a change of operators in the country’s banking sector.”
Yesterday DPM Carcasses announced a review of the VIPA Act especially as it affects wholesale and retail business classifications. Changes to the Act refer to the D2 business licence which Carcasses last changed in 2013 when he headed government. Carcasses wants the Act to better promote local small businesses whilst still attracting foreign investors.
It seems there has been a municipality formed on West Ambae in the last 24 hours according to Radio Vanuatu News. The legality of the move is surely open to question given that there has been no pre-election awareness information regularly broadcast. Radio Vanuatu did speak of ministerial attendance at the set-up activities of the so-called municipality. A mayor and clerk have been appointed. The Luganville election campaign is proceeding and Radio Vanuatu keeps us informed of progress there. Voting is next Tuesday.
We learned from Daily Post yesterday that next year Vanuatu is to host Forum Fisheries committee meetings. Ministers will meet here next May.
Yesterday Post also revealed a stunning array of official allowances permitted to children of officials in government ancillary services. Even cleaners and typists are entitled to these benefits in respect of their children. There have been amendments to this list already this month.
The forgery cases are being appealed in the present sitting of the Court of Appeal. These are the cases of forged licence papers and stickers for bus drivers, on the one hand. And, on the other, an officer of the Vanuatu National Training Council managed to receive in excess of 7 million vatu by altering cheques. To the courts their lawyers are still proceeding.
Air Vanuatu’s bookings are improving considerably and Tanna chiefs are wanting the road project to continue and the vandals who burned out the road-making lorry prosecuted.
Now, Digest readers, you have caught up.