Govt denies breach of contract over citizenship scheme, asks ‘where is our money’?Posted: June 20, 2016
Radio Vanuatu News reports the Vanuatu Government has not breached its contract with the Hong Kong agent for the CIIP citizenship sales scheme. PM Charlot Salwai, responsible for citizenship, says government negotiations with the agent after his government suspended the CIIP programme put in place by a former government. After the suspension, the agent took the government to court, claiming the government breach of contract. PM Salwai stated clearly that it was the agent who was in breach. Government has not been paid anything like what was agreed. And the monies have been retained by the agent, presently seeking judgement against the government through court hearings, have been moved to Caribbean tax havens, others reveal (it should be noted that the Hong Kong agent VRS strenuously denies this claim).
The previous government’s claim to have ended 2015 with a surplus simply means they ended the year with cash in hand, not that they had paid all outstandings. Daily Post today reports Vt 3 billion outstanding in civil service salary matters affecting teachers, health workers and police. Many have reached retirement age but have not received all their dues, creating “a social problem”, PM Salwai said in Parliament on Friday during the Supplementary Appropriations debate. He was being questioned by MP Ephraim Kalsakau, longtime union leader and Independent MP. The Prime Minister was able to report to the sitting of Parliament that the Council of Ministers has approved a mechanism to address all of the outstanding pay issues.
On another matter, Minister of Internal Affairs Alfred Maoh assured MP Ishmael Kalsakau in Parliament on Friday that the Commissioner of Labour has the powers to refuse work permits to foreign workers when there are locals capable of undertaking the same job. Radio Vanuatu News recorded Minister Maoh’s statement in the sitting on Friday.
There has been discussion in all media of certain parents neglecting their children attending the Freswota Bilingual School, leaving even tiny ones until well after the pick-up time of 2:30–4:30 in the afternoon. Daily Post today adds the School Chair David Seule’s stories of small children staying until late and teachers having to look after the children or otherwise find relatives in the suburb to do the minding.
And Councillor Rose Peter is enabling free health checks for voters from her small clinic at Ohlen Freswin. Members of the Vanuatu Indigenous Medical, Allied Health and Nurses Private Practitioners’ Association (maybe it’s easier to remember as VIMAHNPPA?) attended on Thursday. Dr Griffith Harrison, a dietician and five nurses were at Rose Peter’s clinic and over a hundred people received the free service. (Daily Post)