Coupfourpointfive can confirm that the Administrator of Suva City Council, Vijendra Prakash, has been terminated from his position by the recently appointed interim minister for Local Government, Colonel Samuela Saumatua.
SCC's Director Human Resources, Joe Turagasau Hewson, is also to be sacked. Hewson was hired at the insistence of Prakash in June despite his full knowledge that Hewson faced fraud charges.
Hewson was yesterday convicted of fraudulently converting more than $24,000 earmarked as a grant to a Northern Division School, for his personal use as Divisional Education Officer Northern in 2001.
He was given a suspended jail sentence by the Labasa Magistrates Court.
In May, Coupfourpointfive published reports of nepotism and cronysim being promoted by Prakash at SCC. In June, we showed documented evidence of Prakash recommending the appointment of Hewson based on a character reference from Permanent Secretary for Local Government, Ram Chandar.
Chandar and Prakash are cousins.
Before being appointed Administrator of Suva City and Lami Town Councils in January, following the dissolution of the Councils, Prakash was a Head of Department at the Fiji College of Advanced Education - a tertiatary institution.
Sources have confirmed that a SCC meeting scheduled at the Council at 3pm yesterday to be chaired by Prakash, had to be cancelled.
Prakash is the general secretary of Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha of Fiji, the largest Hindu religious organisation in the country.
The organisation actively supported the coup of December 2006 and apart from Prakash, its President Dewan Maharaj was a member of National Council for Building a Better Fiji, the group that drew up the Peoples Charter.