PM Salwai may have to testify against Natuman; NISCOL to be restructured to end political interference

Smart Sistas finalists for ICT Day

During the two ICT Days this week, the ten lucky finalists selected for the Smart Sistas Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) Camp are enjoying an intensive program of learning about computer gaming, coding, network ethics and other IT topics. More info at smartsistas.vu.

Vila Times has a curious headline today saying that PM Salwai may testify against DPM Natuman in what is now being labelled a conspiracy case to be heard on 6 June. It is no longer a mutiny case and came about at a time when Natuman was PM and Salwai his Minister of Internal Affairs in the coalition. Former Police Commissioner Maralau and the DPM face conspiracy charges. Disunity in the forces was already being experienced at the time. The futures of certain police officers are likely to be affected. Vila Times understands certain police investigators who were witnesses against police prosecutors in an expatriate’s court case and had lost are amongst those developing the conspiracy charge against Maralau and Natuman. The present coalition is not thought to be under threat of any kind.

Work is proceeding to restructure the NISCOL stevedoring company which has seen income misappropriated. Minister Alfred Maoh told Radio Vanuatu that the intention is to avoid political interference. Good management and skills are very much needed, he said. The Minister was able to report large cash payments having now made their way to the provinces concerned which are the four northernmost, as well as to Luganville and the government, from NISCOL.

The groundbreaking for the new PM’s Office is fully covered on page 1 of Daily Post today with a photograph of Chinese Ambassador Liu Quan and PM Charlot Salwai surrounded by the country’s leaders in front of an artist’s impression of the restored old (French Residency) building and the greatly enlarged SLO building behind. The President of the Malvatumauri, Chief Senimao Tirsupe, performed a custom ceremony to Chief Mantoi Kalsakau III of Ifira. A ceremony of this kind in changes of land usage is expected by the chiefly body to “guide our daily walk in life”, the Malvatumauri Chief said.

Work is beginning on the new Luganville Correctional Facility which saw the foundation stone laid last week. Justice Minister Warsal hoped the necessary funding for the operational costs would be budgeted in the next sitting in June. New Zealand is helping with building costs to the extent of a very generous Vt 187 million vatu. Work should finish in June next year. (Radio Vanuatu)

Radio Vanuatu reported sheep being imported from Fiji to make available to the farmers of the country after a breeding programme is completed. Senior Livestock Officer Nambong Moses reported 100 ewes and some rams coming for the purpose. He was speaking at the Yoku Farm at Rentabau on the opening of the Year of Small Livestock.

Director of Livestock Lonny Bong also told Daily Post that the Year of Small Livestock Farmers is seeing a small livestock population of a million chickens, a million pigs and 500,000 goats in the next 15–20 years. This is what he sees as a result for the National Sustainable Development Plan being prepared.

Vanuatu is celebrating two Information and Communications Technology (ICT) days, tomorrow and Wednesday, in the first major event in the new Convention Centre. The public is encouraged to participate. Free buses are laid on for visitors from Mele and the Teouma areas. Happy ICT Days everyone.