PM Salwai appoints new board at national broadcaster VBTC

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Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas ... no confidence vote founders. Image: Loop Vanuatu

By Bob Makin in Port Vila

Vanuatu Prime Minister Charlot Salwai Tabimasmas has terminated the board of the national broadcaster Vanuatu Broadcasting and Television Corporation after meeting with the previous board to hear its reasons for the long delay in re-establishing the VBTC’s transmitter network.

Johnety Jerety from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and External Trade is now chairman of the board.

Newly appointed board members are: Jennifer Kausei, Transparency International Vanuatu CEO; Wilson Toa; Gratien Tiona, journalist with The Independent newspaper; journalist Aristide Meltecoin; former VBTC marketing officer Alex Steven; and former Greens Confederation politician Iarris Naunun.

The level of information concerning service giving has certainly improved with the arrival of a government determined information should flow freely.

Prime Minister Salwai has spoken out concerning deficiencies in the public services of VBTC, especially the physical extent of its reach.

This is a topic previously taken up by senior media personnel in the Vanuatu Daily Post. The daily newspaper has been the major provider of news on an increasing basis, but it lacks the reach-all network provided by VBTC’s short wave.

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VBTC has hit back at the Daily Post which has been giving considerable column centimetres to the Leader of the Opposition, always ready to fill them.

The Opposition’s Kalsakau has criticised – in Daily Post – the Mayor of Port Vila, stating that the Mayor is not paying the monthly allowances of Opposition side councillors.

“The way the council is depriving Opposition councillors of their Special Duty Allowance is illegal and it is a maladministration practice of the council which brings disrepute and discredits this high office,” said Alatoi Ishmael Kalsakau in the Daily Post.

The deprivation is alleged to have started around six months ago.

Kalsakau has called on Mayor Sumptoh to resign.

However, Town Clerk Ronald Sandy said through Radio Vanuatu noon news that every allegation made was wrong and that the Opposition should check its facts, as should the Daily Post.

There had been no complaint to the Town Clerk concerning missing duty allowances, nor to the ministry, said Sandy.

VBTC also reported on a documentary film made by Red Cross concerning women’s role in the Cyclone Pam recovery period. Haos i foldaon: Woman i stanap was made for International Women’s Day earlier this week.

It will be screened in Saralana Park on Monday at 5:30pm.

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