Member of Parliament (MP) for Pentecost, Francois Chani has called on the Government to prosecute the MPs, senior public servants, provincial government authorities who are implicated in the EDF 9 misappropriation.
He said white collar crime is eroding the trust and confidence that the people of Vanuatu have at all levels of leadership.
MP Chani said once the report is made public, there should be a process whereby those implicated are brought before the court instead of the report being presented to the Council of Ministers.
His argument is that the Commission of Inquiry (COI) Report already carries substantial evidence enough to take those implicated before the court.
“Once the report is made public, it already tarnished the names of those implicated. Furthermore, the people of Vanuatu no longer trust the MPs, senior government officials and the provincial administrators who are involved,” said MP Chani.
He questions the Government’s ability, capability and systems in the handling of such major project funding which ‘disappears’ in the hands of the people whom the national government itself and the people are supposed to trust.
“Why were the funds disbursed directly into the provincial designated bank accounts instead of being disburse in a much more professional and secure system?” MP Chani questioned.
“It’s quite disturbing and unprofessional for such huge funding being processed in such a loose system instead of a tighter and professional financial system to avoid being misappropriated the way it went.”
He also added that he does not see why those implicated should be further investigated.
“I see no reason why those implicated should be further investigated because they have already been implicated in a COI and the COI was carried out by professionals who know their job. My point is that, those implicated should be prosecuted once the report is made public,” said MP Chani.
“It is high time the national government introduces stringent financial system to better control donor aids funds. I consider what’s happening in the government now as ‘white collar crime’ because those implicated are MPs, senior public servants and provincial administrators who are supposed to be leaders over their people and country.”