Carlot granted bail in Phocea case; Literacy rate for Shefa Province just 27.6%

The Magistrates’ Court has released Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot and his private secretary Matai Kalwatman on bail. The Magistrates’ Court sat yesterday to look into a new application, Radio Vanuatu News reported this morning, and the Prosecution said there are eight defendants in the case including two Ministers, Carlot and Marcellino Pipite. The Prosecution asked they be held in custody because of the seriousness of the charges. The main charge against the two Ministers is their boarding of Phocea before Customs and Immigration clearance. The defendants requested bail to perform their official duties, including Minister Carlot’s attendance at the UN General Assembly in New York. The Ministers were released on bail with conditions of non-interference with other witnesses and must appear in court again on 20 September. Minister Pipite did not attend court yesterday but is required to do so at 10 this morning.

The Magistrates’ Court has required all those who still have charges in the Phocea cases to surrender their passports and their travel documents. They include Tongan national Michael Tangataolakepa and Samoan national Ira Mateupage Donald who were acquitted in the matter of illegal Vanuatu citizenship due to the poor case put by the Prosecution. They are ordered not to leave Efate and warned strongly against committing any offence. They must not try to influence any other witness and must return to court on 20 September.

Solomon Mangau, also involved in Phocea matters, has been released on bail. He was sentenced to a two-year prison term in the Vanuatu illegal citizenship case. He was released on bail with a requirement to appear at prescribed times at the police station. He is appealing his sentence as he claims he is not the principal offender in this matter. There is no date yet for his appeal to be heard, reports VBTC.

Unelco claims 20.25% of electricity generated is renewable energy. The renewable sources include wind, coconut oil and a solar power. Unelco’s goal for Vila is 23% renewable power by 2014. Unelco’s Malakula power station does better again: 63% of its energy is provided by copra purchased from the island’s farmers. Unelco Managing Director Philippe Mehrenberger said “Ever since the biofuel project was launched, close to 1,000 farmers from Lamap, Tisman Bay, Akhamb and South East Ambrym have been selling their copra for use at the company’s Tagabe station”. This has put Vt 45 million into these island economies, says Mehrenberger.

Daily Post points out that between 2,000 and 4,000 properties in Port Vila Municipality have not been valued as was previously promised by the Port Vila Municipal Council. Acting Town Clerk Mandes Tangaras is reminded of this fact by the DG of Internal Affairs George Bogiri in Tangaras’s appointment letter. Bogiri points out this significant outstanding amount in Municipal property tax interferes with the work of the Council. Bogiri also reminded the new Acting Town Clerk of the importance of regular garbage collection.

Those attending last night’s VBTC “How Free is Free Education?” media forum at Erakor learned it isn’t free at all and that the literacy rate for Shefa is an appallingly low 27.6%. More on this to follow on this alarming news.


One Comment on “Carlot granted bail in Phocea case; Literacy rate for Shefa Province just 27.6%”

  1. BILL PRESTON says:

    It is so sad to see the direction Govt ministers and other officials are headed. There seems no end to the lengths some will take to look after themselves at great cost to their native land — Vanuatu!!! I have been watching recent events closely as my ancestors come from Vanuatu. We pray that the elections will bring honesty and transparency back to those in control of others’ lives.