Opposition decides who’s who; Salwai Govt lowers salary budget; money still going missing at ANZ

Nguna from Emua wharf

Nguna from Emua wharf. Photo: PhillipC/Flickr

The newly identified Vanuatu Parliamentary Opposition led by Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau, with Deputy Leader Sato Kilman, has announced other Opposition posts decided upon. They are Christopher Emelee as Whip and Hosea Nevu to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee. Also given posts are Levi Tarosa (adviser to the leader), John Shing (political adviser, co-ordination), Richard Kaltonga (political adviser liaison), Georgio Calo (political adviser general) and Xavier Kasso Andre (office supervisor). The cost to the nation in terms of new finance for additional responsibilities was not mentioned in the Daily Post report.

Radio Vanuatu reported this morning that the cost of political advisers to Government is to drop with the new Salwai Government. This was said to follow the vision of the new MPs now in Parliament. Only first PAs have been appointed. There has previously been much over-spending on official salaries. Emiliano Buletari has been appointed First PA in the PMO. Internal Affairs has John Salong, Public Utilities’ First PA is Pakoa Kaltongga and Foreign Affairs has Charles Lini.

In their press conference yesterday, as reported, the Opposition saw the failure of the Government to produce its 100 day list of objectives as already late “in the face of the disaster and hardship being faced by people and communities.” Opposition Leader Kalsakau reminded Government that the Appropriation Bill needed immediate scrutiny before debate.

The Opposition also made much of the fact that there is before the courts a criminal matter involving Deputy Prime Minister Joe Natuman. The Opposition called on Natuman to stand aside until the case is settled. Kalsakau asked MPs to remain steadfast in their political allegiances. Radio Vanuatu reported him saying moderates now lead both the Government and Opposition.

Online banking fraud is a great concern for the ANZ Banking Group. Bank customers have lost over two million vatu in unauthorised money transfers in two weeks now. Daily Post reports the incidents of which they have learned today in detail.

Daily Post also reports workshops on Nguna, Pele and Emau concerning drought-tolerant crops and improved planting techniques. The Swiss-German GIZ-DEZA programme is assisting people with a variety of new techniques.

And Port Vila has a Golden Age Association. Longtime resident of Freswota One Marie Bangga has initiated the movement to assist elderly widows and the needy. It even has branches outside the Freswota area – as far away as Rentabau and Teouma.