14 Aug 2012

Amid riot fears, Vanuatu pension fund leaders suspended

6:41 pm on 14 August 2012

Vanuatu's finance minister, Moana Carcasses, has assured an angry crowd that he has suspended seven senior staff members of Vanuatu National Provident Fund, including its General Manger, Anniva Tarilongi.

This comes amid fears that an estimated 500 Fund members would start a riot, in a repeat of the 1998 unrest.

Mrs Tarilongi's suspension was announced in answer to an urgent call by the Vanuatu Christian Council, the Vanuatu National Council of Chiefs, the Port Vila Town Council of Chiefs and Efate Vaturisu Council of Chiefs to act against her.

The tension followed reports in the Daily Post Newspaper that Mrs Tarilongi has been paid 7,500 US dollars a month.

Reports claim she recruited her own relatives to work in her management team and paid them more than more experienced staff.

The government has tasked the Auditor General with investigating the claims and issue a public report on his findings.