NDMO dumps tons of expired Cyclone Pam relief supplies; Police Service Commission to rule on Police Commissioner

Vanuatu Mobile Force members dispose of Cyclone Pam food donations that have expired. Photo: Yumi Toktok Stret

Vanuatu Mobile Force members dispose of expired Cyclone Pam food donations. Photo: Yumi Toktok Stret

Pam Relief Supplies Dumped is a truly shocking headline – in Daily Post today. Last week, NDMO released tons of canned food aid to the Etas landfill. They included cartons of cans of beans and tomatoes, tinned fish, and (probably not in tins) noodles, flour and juice, kept in storage for almost a year now. These donations were expired when they reached here, said NDMO’s director Shedrack Welegtabit. However one simply cannot imagine tons of relief all being expired on arrival, transit delays notwithstanding. One can imagine many overseas charitable organisations seeking out best buys before sending off their gifts to us. Fair enough, but surely Vanuatu has officials who can be called in Health, and other departments, to advise. Did Vanuatu’s frequent government changes have anything to do with mis-use of this charitable aid? It really must be made the subject of a public inquiry.

Another alarming headline is that the Police Service Commission has started working on the “guilty” court ruling on Police Commissioner John Taleo concerning an accident in his official car. Says Police Service Commission Chairman Herve Hopkins: “this is the first time for such a case to go before the Commission”, Taleo already having been found guilty in court. Hopkins says the court case has nothing to do with politics but that this is the first case of its kind in the history of the VPF to go before the Police Service Commission. In the past, officers enjoyed their promotions despite their crimes. The question has been reasonably raised by Senior Police Officer Jackson Noal. And Chairman Hopkins says he has also received allegations of promotions of convicted officers or those on bail. He urges those complaining to apply for a judicial review. The Taleo ruling and decision should be available “shortly”. (Daily Post)