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Kilman’s appointments of new DGs unlawful: Mahe

By Hilaire Bule Oct 25, 2023

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The Chairman of the Public Service Commission (PSC), Martin Mahe, has revealed that he received advice from the Attorney General’s (AG) Office stating that several appointments made by the former Prime Minister (PM), Sato Kilman, were unlawful.

On the 28th of September 2023, Mr. Kilman appointed Dr Gregoire Nimbtik as Director General (DG) of the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and Mr. Jesse Dick as DG of Lands.

Their appointment was intended to be effective for a six-month period. Additionally, Mr. Kilman transferred Mrs. Cherol Ala, the DG of the PMO, to serve as DG of the Ministry of Health.

“This letter serves to advise you that in my capacity as Prime Minister of the Republic of Vanuatu, having the executive power vested in me under article 39 (1) of the Constitution and pursuant to Article 58 (2) of the Constitution, I hereby transfer you as Director General of the Ministry of Health for a period of 6 months, effective from the 28th of September 2023,” Mr. Kilman’s letter to Mrs. Ala stated.

On the 6th of September, Mr. Kilman’s Private Secretary, George Boar, wrote a letter to the Secretary of PSC instructing him to stop all recruitment by the PSC. Mr. Boar’s letter stated, “I hereby formally advise that the Prime Minister has instructed that all appointments to the public service must immediately cease until the current composition of the Commission is reviewed or otherwise dealt with.”

On the 25th of September 2023, Mrs. Ala directed the removal of Mr. Mahe’s office access.

“On the afternoon of Thursday, 14th of September 2023, the Prime Minister, Hon. Meltek Sato Kilman Livtunvanu verbally instructed me to facilitate the removal of access to office for the chairman of the Public Service Commission. I did not question the Hon. Prime Minister’s verbal instruction on that matter. Therefore, the pressure was on me to accordingly,” Mrs. Ala stated in her letter to the Acting Secretary of PSC, Stephane Bong.

The Vanuatu Daily Post was informed that both Mr. Nimbtik and Mr. Dick never took up their positions as they were not advertised by the PSC.

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