#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Ganilau borrowed more than $630,000 from collapsed National Bank of Fiji

Friday, May 28, 2010

Ganilau borrowed more than $630,000 from collapsed National Bank of Fiji

Epeli Ganilau borrowed $631,594 from collapsed National Bank of Fiji.

But who had signed documents to obtain $635,207 for RFMF Officers Mess from NBF?

Part Three of a Special Report by VICTOR LAL

Whether by design or sheer co-incidence, the by-word “national” has followed Epeli Ganilau, presently a Cabinet Minister in the military strongman Frank Bainimarama’s post-coup interim government. Ganilau headed the ‘National’ Alliance Party of Fiji. He is now Minister for Defence, Immigration and ‘National’ Security. 

But there is one “National” that he would prefer not be associated with, and that is the collapsed ‘National’ Bank of Fiji, from which he borrowed $220,000, a figure which is never brought up to remind FICAC of the need to re-open an investigation into the loans scandal with the same zeal and propaganda that the Bainimarama regime is pursuing regarding the Fiji National Provident Fund loans, notably that towards the Natadola project.
Ganilau was brigadier-general of the RFMF, chairman of the Great Council of Chiefs and, in January 2007, he was sworn in as Minister for Fijian Affairs in the interim Cabinet that was formed after Qarase was deposed in the 5 December 2006 military coup. It was in July 1991 that Ganilau was appointed commander of the Fijian armed forces, replacing the Father of Coups, Sitiveni Rabuka, who had self-promoted himself as brigadier following the 1987 coups.

Ganilau held his military command until 1999, when he retired to enter national politics. It seems his fate has been inextricably linked to Rabuka’s own career. In May 2001, Ganilau was elected chairman of the GCC after his predecessor Rabuka stepped down amid accusations that he may have been involved in the failed George Speight coup of 2000. 

As chairman of the GCC, Ganilau vigorously supported the prosecution of all those who were implicated in the 2000 coup. 
He supported Bainimarama’s threatening criticisms of some of the Qarase government’s policies. He insisted that the law should not be allowed to blur culture and tradition when it came to dealing with chiefs who were suspected of being behind Speight’s coup. 
But in July 2004 he lost the chairmanship of the GCC to Ratu Ovini Bokini after the Qarase government did not renew his membership on the GCC. By the way, an inspection of debtors list reveals that Ratu Bokini (who is on the list) was given a clean bill – he owed nothing to NBF.
Naturally, like others before him, Ganilau entered politics by forming, in January 2005, the National Alliance Party of Fiji, which was welcomed by a wide section of the population. He, however, pointed to the importance of the chiefly institutions, and hoped the chiefs would unite the different races in Fiji. Ganilau however opposed the proposed Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill, for he saw it as an unwarranted interference in the judicial system, and was also opposed to the amnesty provision in the proposed Bill. 
His views on other matters are well known, and they do not require repetition. He failed to win a seat in the 2006 election but after the 2006 coup entered Cabinet, and is now Minister for Defence and National Security.
In the context of the NBF loans scandal, his criticism of affirmative action is noteworthy; in November 2005, while launching the Lautoka branch of his party, he claimed that affirmative action in favour of indigenous Fijians had not benefitted ordinary Fijians, but had served to help the survival of the SDL government in power and acted as a cover up for lack of effective policies.
What he did not disclose to his attentive and cheering audience at Lautoka was that he was once a beneficiary of post 1987 coup affirmative action policies of the National Bank of Fiji, from which he borrowed a staggering $631,594, as revealed in the 1996 Debtors List? He borrowed from the bank’s Suva branch $220,000 and from its Government Buildings branch $411,594.
Like Teleni, has Ganilau re-paid that loan, and whether he would push his Attorney-General Aiyaz Khaiyum to draft a retrospective decree to seize all properties and monies from those who benefitted from the NBF’s affirmative action, including himself? 

Again, who signed the documents which saw the RFMF Officers Mess listed among the debtors, to a tune of over $600,000 in 1996? What about the Thorpe Report (prepared by Brigadier Thorpe who recently had “tea” in the Officers Mess with Ganilau, Epeli Nailatikau and Sitiveni Rabuka) which detailed damaging evidence of Corruption, Nepotism and Abuse by senior military officers, including the still unaudited Regimental Funds etc.
As I noted in the first instalment on Nazhat Shameem’s uphill fight against the ‘Corruptodiles’, police investigations into the NBF scandal revealed fraud, corruption, and gross abuse of office, obtaining money by false pretences and obtaining credit by fraud. 
Will Ganilau inform us if he ever paid back to the public his loan of $631,594? 
There cannot be one law for Qarase and another for Banimarama’s Cabinet Ministers – one law for Fiji National Provident Fund loan saga and another for the collapsed National Bank of Fiji loan scandal! Only recently we were informed that travel bans will be implemented on FNFP cheats once all means of recovering outstanding contributions are exhausted. 
The FNPF chief executive officer Aisake Taito, who is married into the Mara household (to Adi Elenoa Mara, the  sister of the RFMF’3rd infantry regiment commanding officer Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara) said more than 100 employers owe $7.65million to the FNPF for outstanding contributions. 
Presumably Ganilau, as Minister responsible for Immigration, will be signing the travel ban orders against the FNPF defaulters.
The NBF was ordered by the then Rabuka government to grant “soft loans” to the “downtrodden” taukei population. In Ganilau’s case he was not ‘downtrodden’ but hailed from the chiefly Mara-Ganilau dynasty, some of whom also prominently feature on the NBF ‘Debtors List’.

To be continued:
Editor’s Note: We will continue to reveal debtors names, which include those of high chiefs, politicians, Indo-Fijians, business houses, including individual supporters of the present illegal junta in Fiji.

Psalms 37:21: “The wicked borrow and do not repay.”


Anonymous said...

Interesting little known fact about this man is that he heads a clan (dynasty?)who's property (bure)occupies land in Taveuni that everybody knows is not his(theirs).

Furthermore what he attemptd on Ratu Naigama re hijaking title was unbelievable - hasn't gone unnoticed - been forgotten.

Therefore stealing money comes as no great revelation.

Avid reader said...

Hilarious - and now he is Fiji's Defence minister!

So Frank Bainimarama is ok with corrupt people like Ganilau being part of his team ....hmmm who else who else please do tell....loving these stories

Anonymous said...

This guy is a useless opportunist who cannot earn a living on his own sweat.

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