Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau’s land dealings “crooked”, says RegenvanuPosted: September 26, 2012
Former Justice Minister Ralph Regenvanu is the first leader to denounce the Caretaker Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau’s recent lease dealings. Regenvanu says recent Ministerial sales of public land in Port Vila and Luganville and the alienation of undisputed customary land in North Efate is “crooked”. Kalsakau is not a fit leader, says Regenvanu. “Kalsakau has not taken national interest into account, or that of the public or land owners as he is required to do by the Constitution”. Regenvanu is of the opinion that Kalsakau’s efforts to take the North Efate land out of the hands of its custom owners will be quickly fail because the custom owners can place a caution on the lease titles, effectively preventing the transaction from proceeding.
Regenvanu also rejects the claims of the Outgoing Director General of the Ministry of Lands, Joe Ligo, that the North Efate chiefs were too slow in their efforts to protect their land. He reminds Ligo that the land belongs to the North Efate people and not the Ministry of Lands. Daily Post gives space to DG Ligo to explain what the Ministry proposes to see as boundary disputes between Mele and Lelema and adds that the Minister will make everything clear on his return from New Caledonia.
Lands DG Ligo has also come out strongly against the legality of Ministerial valuations. In today’s Daily Post, he refers to the valuation of the residential property going to the Prime Minister. He undermines his own argument by showing that it is not a valuation at all, rather a reckoning of what the Prime Minister agrees to pay for the lease once the Government pays him what it allegedly owes him. Daily Post understands payment to the Prime Minister regarding the lease to the Norsup airfield area has already been made.
Apparently Sato Kilman, Steven Kalsakau and their minions believe there is one law that applies to politicians and civil servants, and another law for the rest of us.
Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Sato Kilman and a delegation of officials have left for the United Nations General Assembly meeting. He will speak at the meeting. Caretaker Deputy PM Ham Lini will be acting in his place until Kilman’s return on 1 October, says Radio Vanuatu News.
The issue of the registration of the delegates and sub-committees at the Vanua’aku Pati Congress on Tongoa in 2010 remains an issue before the courts yet and will go to full trial on 2 October. Chief Justice Vincent Lunabek yesterday, in a hearing of the two counsels involved, brought both to the understanding that it is necessary to establish the legality of the VP Panita Congress and decisions made at it. This will have significant bearing on the electoral process for the Vanua’aku Pati.