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April 24, 2018
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September 8, 2017
The only female Member of Parliament (MP) and the Third Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Julia Malas King, has completed the sharing of her allocation for 2022 to her voters in her constituency of Efate. MP King told Daily Post that she has distributed over VT1.5 million. The MP said the amount was not enough for her electors and she has to use her own money to make a total of over VT2 million. She said that now she is now developing projects for her electors to raise their own revenues. MP King said one of her main project is the current construction of market center at Takara, North Efate. She said the center is near Takara Hot Springs and will enable the vendors to have good facilities to sell their products to the visitors. _____________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
The provinces of MALAMPA and TAFEA have had a significant increase in the number of Domestic Violence (DV) cases that have been reported to the Vanuatu Women’s Centre (VWC), from the 2020 to 2022 financial year data. According to the data collected by the VWC, in July 2020 to June 2021, MALAMPA had reported 1,847 cases of DV, and in July 2021 to June 2022, the total reported cases had increase from 1,847 to 2,221. For TAFEA province, in July 2020 to June 2021 there were 956 reported cases altogether, however, the number of cases reported from July 2021 to June 2022 increased from 956 to 1,399. Although Vila and SANMA have had the highest number of DV cases, it was determined from the data collected by the VWC that the number of reported cases in these two areas are declining, which is the opposite of the figures in MALAMPA and TAFEA. According to the Coordinator of VWC, Tatavola Matas, the reason why there has been a significant increase in the number of reported cases of domestic violence in these provinces is because “a lot of work has been done by the VWC, and other agencies within the Ministry of Justice” in raising awareness, as well as educating women and children about their individual rights and responsibility in relation to domestic violence. “Because of awareness that the VWC has been conducting in the communities and the islands, plus other government agencies such as the Vanuatu Police Force, the victims of domestic violence are finally coming out to report their cases,” she said. The Coordinator added that another contributing factor to why victims of domestic violence have not been coming forward to report their cases is because according to a baseline study research that was conducted by the VCW and was published in 2011, “seeking assistance from other agencies is not the priority of women who have been domestically abused. They usually seek assistance first from immediate families, then chiefs and pastors in their community”. “They usually come to VWC, police or other agencies as the last resort,” she added. The VWC wants the public to know and understand that if anyone is facing domestic violence, or know someone who is, please help them by encouraging them to talk to someone and seek help. The toll-free number for VWC is 161 and it is always available to anyone who needs help. Ms Matas also mentioned that, “seeking assistance from family members, chiefs, or pastors is okay as it is an avenue to address the issue. However, they must be able to help the victim by properly addressing the issue in a way that satisfies the victim, and making sure that the violence does not occur again. They must be able to make sure that the perpetrator understands the wrongfulness of his actions and to not disrespect the custom by making reconciliation over and over again because the violence has not been stopped.” She said that the main reason why domestic violence is a continuous issue faced by most women and children in the country is because, of the unequal power relationship within a family, or between a male and a female, and how the society generally undermines the status of women. ___________________________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
The Port Vila Mayor has ordered the Clerk of Port Vila City Council (PVCC) to refrain from entering the offices and all premises of the council. This decision was made through a letter that was addressed to Clerk Peter Sakita, last Friday. According to the content of the letter, the order was also effective on the date it was issued. Mr. Sakita was recently convicted and received a suspended sentence following his implications on a criminal charge. Mayor Steve Kiel conveyed in the letter that he was only made aware of the sentence, although it was handed down almost a month ago. He stated that he had expected the Clerk to inform him about it earlier. “It is expected of a leader like you to be upfront when a serious matter, like your offence and convictions arise. It is alarming to me as Lord Mayor that you failed to advise me or the Municipality of your convictions by the court,” Mayor Kiel stated in the letter. The letter continued, “As Lord Mayor of Port Vila City, I am seriously concerned about your status as a convicted person and the position you hold as the Town Clerk of Port Vila City Council.” Mayor Kiel also highlighted in the letter that the decision to prohibit the Clerk from entering the premises of PVCC was to safeguard the integrity of the council. Daily Post understands that Mr. Sakita is still Clerk of PVCC and only the Public Service Commission can make a decision on his future employment. The Council does not have the power to dismiss or remove a Clerk. PSC Secretary, James Melteres confirmed with Daily Post that the Commission is expected to deal with this matter in its meeting this week. _____________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
The Supreme Court has sentenced Port Vila Town Clerk, Peter Sakita, to six months’ imprisonment but suspended for two years. Mr. Sakita appeared in Court on 14th of December 2022 and pleaded guilty to two offences. The court heard that on their way back home after a pleasant social evening, Sakita assaulted his wife. In handing down the court verdict, Justice Edwin Peter Goldsbrough said the assault was aimed at her face. “Your wife did what she could to defend herself. At home one of the children saw the mother with facial injuries, mainly a black eye and she ask what had happened and who had caused this injury. Your wife indicated that it was you. You were asked to leave the house and the child went together with her mother to report your crime,” said Judge Goldsbrough. The Court said Sakita falls within the category of persons governed by the Leadership Code. “The second offence following on the assault of your wife is failing to uphold the standard expected from a person who is a leader. The offence committed against your wife provides for a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and the offence under the Leadership Code, ten years’ imprisonment,” Judge Goldsbrough stated. “The main feature of this offending which makes more serious is that there was little to no provocation when you decided that your wife need to be chastised for her behavior. She has done nothing wrong more than join in with dancing that was taking place at that restaurant you had been attending.” Mr. Sakita told the court in his submission that his conduct was affected by the consumption of alcohol, but the court said that is no excuse and even if so, he should not have been driving. Judge Goldsbrough said a number of domestic violence have been cited showing the range of penalties imposed for this offence but in Sakita’s case, this was not the most serious and the attack was short-lived. The court took into account that Sakita has no previous convictions and until now he had an unblemished record. The court also noted that he has reconciled with his wife and his extended family. According to the Secretary of the Public Service Commission (PSC), James Melteres, the PSC will discuss Mr. Sakita’s case next week. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST
Some frontline health workers who participated in delivering much needed health services during the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak in Vanuatu, particularly nurses, are questioning the delayed payment of their risk allowances. On the 22nd of August 2022, the Public Service Commission (PSC) wrote a letter to the Director General (DG) of the Ministry of Health (MoH), Russel Tamata, informing the Ministry about the approval of Vanuatu College of Nursing Education (VCNE) student allowances during the COVID- 19 pandemic. The letter stated that the Commission in decision No.62 made during its meeting No. 12 of 12th August, 2022 approved the allowance for first year students assisting in the COVID-19 pandemic with effect from 11th of April 2022 to May 2022. The letter stated that they shall be paid an allowance at a rate of intern level 5 which is equivalent to VT416, 000 per annum. One of the male nursing students who requested for his name not to be disclosed, said although they heard that the authority had previously processed their risk allowance, they still have not receive anything. “This was stated back in October 2022; however, it appears that the officials misled us,” he said. Another nursing student, who also decided to remain unknown, said officers keep giving them dates, but their risk allowance was never paid. “They promised to pay us VT3, 000 per day during the COVID-19 pandemic, but since then, we have gotten nothing,” the student said. “Some of our co-workers had previously gotten their risk allowance, the majority of us who had been doing data entry had not.” While nursing students are raising their frustrations, some nurses from Santo who have been at frontline during the COVID-19 period have echoed similar concerns. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, they asked us to work and promised us that in return there will be risk allowances. But when everything was over, nothing has been paid. We have been waiting since last year till this year,” a nurse from Santo said. “We have been visiting rural areas in Santo and providing vaccination, we are the ones who detected COVID-19 cases in Santo. If there is another outbreak, they will look for nurses.” The nurse claimed that the majority of the nurses will be joining the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme and Seasonal Workers Program (SWP) if they continue to wait. However, Judith Melsul, Human Resource Management and Development officer of the MoH said they have paid out the first lot, and there is another list, which they have submitted to the Finance department. “We are walking closely with finance officials to release the risk allowance, it is not only the Ministry of Health, there are other government departments who have yet to pay the risk allowances of their staff,” she said. She explained that after they had paid the first lot, the PSC appealed for them to revisit the risk allowance rules and policy, thus finance authorities put the payments on hold. “As the accounts have been closed for the end of year, we will wait for the budget to be approved by the Councils of Ministers (COM) before the payments are processed,” she said. The Human Resource Management and Development officer added that in February, the COM will approve VT56 million as the MoH’s yearly budget, consequently the outstanding risk allowance will be sourced from this budget. _______________________________________________________________________ SOURCE: VANUATU DAILY POST