Chief calls for custom governance system implementation

A prominent Maewo chief is calling for the implementation of the customs governance system in the country.

Chief Moliaute Jonah Toakanase said it is time for everyone to unite together to achieve their economic rights and benefits.

Chief Toakanase made the statement in regards to the economic status of the country, asking what some of the individual benefits Vanuatu has achieved to enhance its wellbeing, livelihood and wealth are after 38 years of Independence.

He urged all 52 Members of Parliament in Vanuatu to work together and address this longstanding matter which is enslaving the people from the original ideology and philosophy of independence and economic struggle.

He emphasized that so far, community investment is good however individual investment remains a major challenge.

Chief Toakanase said foreign economic policy adapted in Vanuatu has resulted in the people facing the challenge of gaining individual economy benefits, rights and wealth.

“We are slaves under our current governing system,” he said. “With the current system, we have faced a rapid increase in our cost of living where minimum wages are low, VAT increases and transportation rates are high including all business investment strategies.

He said for too long there has been talk about economy plans but the people are still slaves of their own governing system as it is not originally “ours”.

Chief Toakanase referred back to 1979 when the Nagriamel movement President back then, late Jimmy Stevens had opted to use the custom governance system but was turned down after he refused to sign a memorandum leading to the signing of the Constitution.

He also mentioned an exchange of notes which took place between the United Kingdom, the Northern Ireland and the government of France on the Independence of Vanuatu. He elaborated that the exchange note saw the name Sovereign economic state of New Hebrides changed to the Sovereign state of New Hebrides.

The chief said custom governance system is the way forward to address the economy challenges faced within the country.

He is calling to the John Frum and Kapiel movement in the southern region, Natatok movement in the central region and the Nagriamel movement to unite and work together in the custom ideology, philosophy and doctrines to create political stability in 2020 and carry Vanuatu forward to realise its economic promise land after 38 years of walking around the wilderness of political slavery.

He said through unity, the visions of the late Jimmy Stevens can be implemented. He recited a famous Vanuatu proverb, saying the people are already standing on the back of the turtle but they are still searching for foreign turtles such as Australia and New Zealand.

Chief Toakanase is appealing for an immediate review to address the economic challenges faced by the people of Vanuatu.

Source: Daily Post Vanuatu

Row over top post


POLICE Minister Bryan Kramer, on legal advice from State lawyers, has instructed Gari Baki to vacate the police commissioner’s office as his contract had expired in May.

He has appointed Deputy Commissioner Francis Tokura, currently the Bougainville Police Service commander, to be the acting police commissioner.
Tokura will be assisted by assistant police commissioners Joanne Clarkson (administration) and Peter Guinness (operations).

Kramer said Baki’s contract had expired on May 7 thus “he was illegally in office” as there had been no gazettal notice authorising him to act in the position.

“I got the advice from the Attorney-General’s office (last) Thursday and that made me instruct him to leave the office (last) Friday,” he said.
He informed Baki in writing.

“My letter to him was based on the advice I got from the Attorney-General’s office. The advice was that there was no existing appointment (to let Baki continue as commissioner),” Kramer said.

“Former Police Minister Jelta Wong never extended his (contract in an) acting position. Baki himself told me that the National Executive Council had never reappointed him. He made reference to some gazette notice which I’m not aware of.”

Kramer also welcomed Baki’s plan to take the matter to court.

“Even he goes to court, that would not put him back in the office,” he said.
“He is over the (retirement) age and he is no longer a member of the force.”
Kramer said the terms for deputy police commissioners Raphael Huafolo (administration) and Jim Andrews (operations) expired on July 4.

“He (Baki) himself issued the notice that both his deputies’ contracts have expired.”

Meanwhile, Baki plans to take the matter to court.

“The reason for my decision is because as far as the senior police leadership and I are concerned, due and established processes for appointments were not followed by Police Minister Bryan Kramer (in the appointments of Tokura, Guinness and Clarkson),” Baki said.

“At the outset, let me state for the record that this action is not intended in any way to discredit the three officers who have been appointed in acting capacities.

“They are experienced police officers who are more than qualified to occupy these offices.

This action is taken to protect them as well as the other senior officers of the constabulary.”

Baki questioned why the Government did not appoint Tokura, Clarkson and Guinness to substantive positions instead of in acting capacities.

“All appointments whether temporary or substantive shall be made by the Head of State, acting with and in accordance with the advice of the National Executive Council given after consultation with the Public Service Commission and any appropriate Permanent Parliament Committee, which in this case is the Permanent Parliament Appointments Committee,” he said.

Kramer condemns Baki


POLICE Minister Bryan Kramer, pictured, has accused Police Commissioner Gari Baki of protecting “corrupt politicians” by sitting on their files and not investigating them in the past four years.

He was responding to Baki’s statement yesterday that he had the files of 40 MPs on both sides of the House to investigate.

Kramer said: “He has been sitting on the files and protecting corrupt politicians. And now he wants to investigate them.

Where was he all these years? He has those files all this time. In fact there were more complaints against MPs during his time in office and he has been interfering with and frustrating investigations. He had four years to do that.”

Kramer said Baki should have delegated the investigations of the MPs to other qualified senior officers.

“There are other police officers who can investigate these MPs for alleged fraud or alleged official corruption,” he said.

He said investigation into the 40 MPs “will still proceed”.

Kramer also defended Francis Tokura’s appointment as acting Police Commissioner “in the best interest of Bougainville and Papua New Guinea”.

“His appointment was on merit and to provide stability for a peaceful outcome during the referendum,” he said.

Baki however claimed that the change in police leadership was to “protect those in power”.

“We have investigation files on some 40 MPs in Government and Opposition,” he said.

“This includes a good number of ministers in cabinet. Will the Government give us the support and cooperation to prosecute these cases?.” He said the constabulary was only as good as political masters.

“The issue is political will, determination, genuine desire to fight corruption and support for the constabulary,” Baki said.

He said he and his two deputy police commissioners were preparing to exit the police service.

“We are not fighting to hold onto office. But we want to see the police force and officers protected. We want to see the police force free from political manipulation and interference.”

Officers told to serve Constitution, not Govt


POLICE officers must serve the Constitution and not the Government, says Police Minister Bryan Kramer.

He told the 28 cadet officers including six females to be commissioned during a parade at Bomana, Port Moresby last Friday that the Government did not create the positions of police officers.

“The position is created in the Constitution and it is the constitution you should serve,” he said.

He said the Government wanted to improve discipline and command in the constabulary “by depoliticising (it) so that officers can do their job provided under the constitution”.

“I have observed many commissioners and senior officers talking about serving the Government. A police officer is to serve the constitution (which) serves the 8.5 million people of Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“It is the constitution that you will serve.”

He planned to stop political interference into the functions of the constabulary.

“During our term in Government, that practice will change.”

Kramer pointed out that most people were more afraid of the police than criminals.