9 May 2013

Vanuatu lands staff yet to surrender dubiously acquired land titles

1:55 pm on 9 May 2013

Vanuatu's Minister of Lands Ralph Regenvanu says he is still pursuing state land titles held under a dubious preferential access process used by the former Minister.

This is despite no one as yet having surrendered such leases in response to an official request from Mr Regenvanu who wrote to all staff at the Ministry and the Department of Lands last month.

Two investigations are underway to identify those who obtained leases under the former Minister, Steven Kalsakau.

Mr Regenvanu says that the amnesty on offer hasn't yet been taken up.

"A number of staff have written back to say the record is in fact incorrect and they haven't taken any leases. The Public Service Commission investigation and the Ombudsman Office investigation are proceeding and we expect to get the result of those investigations by the end of next week at which stage we will have further grounds for pursuing the state land titles held by staff as well as all other people - members of the public and political supporters of the former minister."

Ralph Regenvanu