21 Sep 2012

Things work in a special way for Vanuatu's Lands Ministers, says Transparency

1:19 pm on 21 September 2012

The chair of Transparency Vanuatu says the sale of public land for a discount is a long-running pattern with politicians who have become the Minister of Lands.

In the latest case, the Minister of Lands, Steven Kalsakau, is accused of allowing the sale of public land at cheap rates to Lands Department staff.

Any such sale would be in breach of a Council of Ministers resolution suspending the sale of state land.

Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson says Mr Kalsakau is not the first Minister who

has been able to expedite dubious land sales with impunity.

"When you buy land at 5-thousand dollars and it's worth one million dollars, and it's done within a few days when every transaction to register should take at least one year, you know that there is a special way to work in the Ministry of Lands where you get things done quickly. When Harry Iauko was heading the Ministry, it was current practice for the Minister to send instructions (marked) urgent."

Transparency Vanuatu's Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson