Dear Editor,

I read with great concern your article in Monday’s paper (28/10), regarding the apparent decision of Mr. Barnabus Tabirupmel to run for parliament next year.

Your article quoted that AFIC was “maybe the most helpful lending institution in Vanuatu”, but failed to make mention of the 25,000 members fully vested members, and 30,000 partially vested vendors, who lost between them nearly one billion vatu under Mr. Tabirupmel’s leadership.

This money represented the hard work over many years by these thousands of people, and it was almost all lost during Mr. Tabirupmel’s time in charge of AFIC. The Daily Post’s article failed to provide a balanced representation of the facts – unlike your article dated September 1st 2018 did, where you clearly stated that Mr. Tabirupmel is alleged to have made unauthorised drawings of VT320M out of AFIC.

AFIC was not there to help the people of Vanuatu, but just Mr. Tabirupmel. Of course increasing self-reliance is a worthy aim, but a path where thousands of people lose their lifetime savings is clearly not the best road forward.

Furthermore, your other leading story from the same day’s paper was about a petition to get women into parliament. This is a very worthy aim, and it is a real shame to see progressive and beneficial ideas such as these being held back by a system which encourages and enables individuals such as Mr. Tabirupmel to run for parliament. Instead of putting people into parliament who have lost millions of Vatu for thousands of people, we should be looking turn a new page for Vanuatu, and to appoint new individuals – including women - with the integrity this country needs.


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