3 Oct 2013

TI Vanuatu hopes to cancel dubious lease deals

8:08 pm on 3 October 2013

Transparency International Vanuatu says it hopes legal action will overturn controversial leases granted by a former Lands Minister to staff in the Lands Department.

Steven Kalsakau, who was minister in 2012, granted staff leases at cut rates to state-owned green space land in the two main cities.

TIV's president, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson, says they are contesting more than 90 leases that if allowed to proceed would eliminate all the public green spaces.

She says the minister had no right to act as he did and with the aid of the new minister, Ralph Regenvanu, and the courts, they are hoping to have the leases cancelled.

"And hopefully some of these transactions can be frozen and stopped and reversed. We are in the process at the moment of exchanging pleadings and submissions and hopefully in the next 6 months, and everything has been frozen, and so we are hoping that we will win that battle and we will preserve the space for the two cities, Luganville and Port Vila."

TIV's president, Marie-Noelle Ferrieux Patterson