The post of the Vanuatu Police Commissioner is to be re-advertised and Vanuatu will celebrate 36 years of independence without a Commissioner of Police, according to the Minister for Internal Affairs, Alfred Maoh.

Maoh cited defects in the qualification of the sacked chairman of the Police Service Commission as the main reason for the prolonged recruitment process that will now have to see it begin all over again.


Api Jack Marikembo, a former deputy police commissioner and who was convicted over the police mutiny case, was appointed by the Head of State Baldwin Lonsdale for a four year term. He was recruited on grounds that he has been pardoned by the president. However, it was only until last week that it was discovered Marikembo continues to carry the scare of a conviction because the President had only pardoned his sentence and not his conviction – thus disqualifying him as a member of the PSC.

According to the minister, it boils down to the law that was put to test, and the advice from the Attorney General’s Office is that Marikembo be terminated as PSC chair; to declare the recruiting process null and void; and to re-advertise the post of the Police Commissioner.

“It is honorable thing to test the law which we did and the state law advised that the process is against the law and all who applied will have to reapply”, said Minister Maoh.

Maoh said it will take about two to three more weeks for the recruitment process before an appointment could be made in August 2016.

He said the position will now have to be made attractive as possible to lure the interest of candidates from outside Vanuatu, to apply.

Meanwhile, Minister Maoh thanked everyone for their traditional respect during this difficult situation and he appealed for the same respect until a new police commissioner is appointed.

Marikembo’s appointment was revoked  Wednesday by the President and his successor, Willie Vira, was appointed immediately after.

Vira, a former Vanuatu Mobile Force Commander, had served the VPF for over 30 years.