Corruption – Follow the Money Trail

Posted: 15/06/2015 in Box of Chocolates, Vanuatu
Tags: , , , , ,

Corruption - Follow the Money Trail!

It has been said many times that to get to the bottom of corruption, follow the money trail!

That said, it’s high time someone did exactly that in relation to the Great Wall of Mele.

Originally, due to an onslaught of media pressure, the Shefa Provincial Government Council (SPGC) announced that a fine of 500,000 vatu had been imposed upon the builder of this popular tourism spot-destroying development – a proposal for a two-storey hotel/store.

A little while later, the SPGC was found to have reduced the fine from the half a million vatu to a paltry 100,000 vatu. They have stated since that in so doing, they had received a commitment from the developer to (a) demolish the ugly wall that confronts passersby every day and (b) only erect a single-storey building.

What a crock of BS that’s turned out to be! Here are some photos taken a week ago…..

The Great Wall of Mele June 2015 Mele Wall Development - 8 June 2015B Mele Wall Development - 8 June 2015C

The wall is STILL there! Not only that that, it has been extended using piles of solidified, bagged concrete – an absolute eyesore that has killed off one of Port Vila’s most popular tourism stopping points – a place where tourists could admire and take photos of Hideaway Island.

Single-storey? I’m no builder but even Blind Freddie could see that this is turning into a dual or multi-storey development. It’s also quite feasible that it will end up looking as ghastly as this same developer’s Airport Business Hotel eyesore at Tagabe roundabout.

The sand that’s being used for building also appears to be coming from the beach on which it is being built despite recent legislation that forbids the mining of this beach sand for commercial purposes.

Has an EIA been done by a reputable person/entity and made public? If not, why not?

The question is – “WHO has allowed this to happen and just as importantly, WHY?”

The feedback that I have had from a couple of reliable sources is that one or more senior SPGC were in debt to the developer and have quite possibly “done a deal” that favours all parties concerned in allowing this development to continue unimpeded.

Who has the power and/or willingness to investigate this issue?
  1. Val Smith says:

    What a deplorable blot on a beautiful landscape. No doubt some polititions hand was well greased.

  2. Rod says:

    Unfortunately Transparency International Vanuatu is now a tiger without any teeth. The international body against corruption went to sleep over 18 months ago.

    • How very true, Rod. It seems that the Ombudsman’s office falls into the same category as well. The bottom line is that the government needs to get serious and establish an ICAC-style anti-corruption agency in accord with their UNCAC commitment ratified in 2011. Has anyone in power got the balls to do so though?

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