Government wants 10,000 land subdivisions set up throughout Vanuatu

Government wants over 10,000 subdivisions throughout the country. DG of the Ministry of Lands Joe Ligo is passionate about subdivisions everywhere. He wants subdivisions on town green spaces, on Tanna, Ambae, Malakula, he said in a press conference this week. He says he will sell every green space in town. “Many people come to the Lands Ministry,” said Ligo, who can only be speaking of foreigners, “and they say there are so many places without anything suitable happening on them. It is much better these places have houses built upon them.” He adds, as heard on Radio Vanuatu this morning: “It is a right that every citizen has property.”

Joe, every ni-Vanuatu already has property under the Vanuatu Constitution. Their land. But if the reckless selling of land leases that you are proposing is allowed to go ahead, ni-Vanuatu won’t have their land for much longer.

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau acts against interests of kastom land owners in Mangaliliu land sale

Map showing customary land area leased by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau against the wishes of the people of Lelepa and Mangaliliu

Map showing customary land area leased by Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau against the wishes of the people of Lelepa and Mangaliliu

Lands Minister Steven Kalsakau has approved a lease over large area of the customary lands of Lelepa and Mangaliliu (Lelema) to a Mele man for 75 years, against the wishes of the customary land owners. Mangaliliu Chief Mormor said at the time of the creation of a customary lease application for their own lands,  back in May: “We want a custom land lease ourselves, over our land, to protect ourselves and our land”. The North Efate land owners now have to protect themselves from the Minister of Lands. Daily Post leads with this story today. It covers how the chiefs of North Efate wrote to the Minister requesting a halt to all further land dealings in their area after nearly two years of consultation and mapping and for six community leases to be issued so their lands could truly remain theirs in perpetuity.

Lelepa and Mangaliliu chiefs signing an agreement to protect their customary lands in May 2012

Lelepa and Mangaliliu chiefs signing an agreement to protect their customary lands in May 2012

The Land Reform Act [Cap 123] gives the Minister for Lands the power to approve leases on behalf of customary owners if the land is in dispute. However, the Lelema lands are not under dispute and are unalienated. Minister Kalsakau here is acting in breach of the Act and against the letter of the Constitution. There is speculation too that the Mele lessee is just a front man for powerful foreign business interests.

Read the rest of this entry »


Govt, Minister Carlot hold press conferences to “clarify misconceptions” over Phocea, dodgy land dealings

Government is engaged in a headlong rush to hold press conferences to ‘clarify’ misconceptions which they claim have been generated by the media. VBTC News and Daily Post both report on what was said at these press conferences.

Neither news source has yet reported the huge loss to Government on land lease sales. Daily Post has partially reported the Café du Village story, writing that the Ministry of Lands sold the lease to the Café du Village site for the pathetically low amount of Vt 500,000. Vanuatu has lost up to Vt 150 million on what was claimed to be “unmanageable” public land, but which is actually prime, commercial real estate. When will Government hold a press conference to explain this? We are holding our breath.

Foreign Minister Alfred Carlot yesterday “broke his silence” with his press conference over the Phocea. Yes, he, Carlot, was invited on board the yacht Phocea with a formal invitation, as were all Ministers. “Mr Carlot says Pascal Anh Quan Saken has helped him out a lot financially”, reports Radio New Zealand International today.

Read the rest of this entry »