Vanuatu Daily News Digest | 4 August 2015

News of two days rolled into one again …

Most importantly yesterday was …

the burial of the highly respected Leader of the Opposition Edward Natapei, on his home island Futuna. It was covered with reverence and respect by all the daily news media.

Daily Post led with news that the ministerial decision of earlier Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau to offer a Tassiriki waterfront lease in public parklands at only 1.4% of its value was invalid and the lease was quashed. The lease had been issued for part of the green space where the rowing club could participate in their water sports. The "SPK" family Kalo, also implicated in land sales of much government land around the Joint Court area, had been the beneficiary of Minister Kalsakau’s decision.

The government has assisted local communities with some 32m vatu worth of agricultural tools according to Radio Vanuatu News yesterday lunchtime. Many thousands or hundreds of bush knives, axes, crowbars and spades are said to have been handed over in the Department of Agriculture for distribution to farmers to assist in garden restoration after cyclone Pam.

The current Vanuatu Times has the Bank South Pacific still keen to take over Westpac operations here and in the Solomons, but Reserve Bank (RBV) Governor Athy still advising the time is not yet right.

Vanuatu Times also has the 2012 alleged mutiny by police file closed. The Public Prosecutor has entered a nolle prosequi case in the matter.

Your editor contributed to Daily Post today with his information that, unlike he had been suggesting Saturday, the bribery case involving government ministers and MPs, might not be heard under the penal code. This was corrected. Bribery and corruption charges have been listed by the Acting public Prosecutor according to both the Leadership Code and Penal Code. Details of the charges will be reported within the next 24 hours.

The Motalava bamboo band has continued to thrill Port Vila audiences since Independence Day with their performance at the President’s Reception at State House. Latterly they have been giving concerts at the seafront stage.