The Government of Vanuatu has provided an official answer to the Pentecost Member of Parliament (MP) Francois Chani, who decided to return the laptop, donated to him and other MPs by the private company, claiming this was a “form of bribery.”
According to the statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Prime Minster’s office Hilaire Bule, the government denies allegations by Francois Chani. Every laptop was donated to the government, not MPs personally, with the purpose to be used for the needs of government service, and any MP who would like to take the laptop as his personal property must pay the full price of the device, estimated to be 160,000 vatu, says Hilaire Bule.
PMO’s communication officer also added that he sees no difference with other previous cases of such donations by private companies, in particular the case when MP Chani received a donation from the private company in Port Vila and went to distribute donated goods during the last PISA Games at the Pentecost island.
According to the comments from the representatives of the company that made this donation, the purpose of this move was not to bribe the members of the Parliament, but to contribute to the development of Vanuatu by providing all MPs with a way to learn and better understand modern technologies. All laptops were meant to remain as the property of the Government of Vanuatu and be used exclusively by current MPs for their working purposes.