- Fani Toga Vosaniveibuli listed as owing $200,156 to collapsed bank
- Her husband, Apisai, over $24,000
Part Fifteen of a Special Report by VICTOR LAL
In July 2007 Fani Toga Vosaniveibuli was sacked as chairman of the 100 per cent state enterprise, Post Fiji Ltd for providing an unsatisfactory explanation for using company funds to buy an upmarket vehicle costing $69,000 for her own use. She had allegedly signed the purchase order for the vehicle on her own authority.
Her line manager Poseci Bune, the short-lived Interim Public Service Minister, had recommended her sacking, warning board members of state-owned companies, that they had not been appointed to their positions for personal gain. Bune had said the purchase of the vehicle defeated the purpose of appointing the new board which was to weed out corruption, arguing that ‘people appointed to government boards should take note that they aren’t there to serve their own interests’.
An audit report on the multi-million dollar Post Fiji Limited had found evidence of high level corruption and abuse of office by senior management and board members.
A statement released by interim Prime Minister’ Bainimarama’s office claimed the audit found a total breakdown of accountability and transparency in the financial operations of Post Fiji. The statement said the board and senior management engaged in unethical and corrupt practices in collusion with those they did business with, and at times among themselves, to defraud the company and the state for their personal benefit.
It said the instances of abuse, mismanagement and fraud were very serious and would be referred to the police and the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption for investigation. Among other things the audit found board members running up hotel bills and claiming allowances running into tens of thousands of dollars when no meetings took place, the statement claimed.
Senior executives were found to have appointed relatives and girlfriends to jobs without the positions being advertised and there was evidence of kickbacks in stationery purchases overseas worth millions of dollars. The former chief executive of Post Fiji, Peni Mau, was removed early that year, and Vosaniveibuli was brought in from within the company as his replacement. Brigadier General Iowane Naivalurua, then the Commissioner of Prisons, was appointed the new chairman of the Post Fiji Board, after Vosaniveibuli’s sacking.
We may recall that in the previous instalment I disclosed that another Yatu Lau board director Colonel Ilaisa Kacisolomone was listed as owing $44,668 to the collapsed NBF. I also noted that other Yatu Lau company directors were as follows, as one can ascertain from the company’s annual return to the Registrar of Companies made up to the 31 December 2008, and signed off by its chairperson Koila Nailatikau and the secretary, the late Solomoni Makasiale.
The directors are as follows:
- Ratu Tevita Uluilakeba Mara; the military ‘Bully Boy’ as he is referred to by his junior officers and coup opponents, and chairman of the Lau Provincial Council;
- Anare Jale, former Fiji Ambassador to the US and former CEO of the Public Service Commission from May 2005 to 7 December 2006 when he was dismissed by the coupist Frank Bainimarama;
- Adi Koila Nailatikau, the wife of President Epeli Nailatikau;
- Col. Ilaisa Kacisolomone;
- Alipate Naiorosui, the CEO, Housing Authority, presently facing charges of abuse of office, in that he allegedly in December of 2006, while he was the Deputy Chairman for Fiji Ports Corporation Ltd, approved the payment of $177,000 in early retirement for Herbert Hazelman;
- Solomone Makasiale (recently deceased)
- Dr Esther Williams, USP Deputy Vice-Chancellor;
- James Datta, who had hastily supported the post 2006 military and later became a board member of FNFP, ATH, TFL etc, etc;
- Savenaca Tuivaqa, former assistant police commissioner during Speight coup of 2000;
- Akuila Savu, the economist who was appointed CEO Air Pacific, under the chairmanship of John Hill, the Engineer (who had a business with Baines in Wailada Subdivision, Lami).;
- Sialeni Vuetaki, former Ports Authority Board chairman and CEO of Air Fiji Ltd;
- Sireli Mokunitulevu - Ratu Isireli Mokunitulevu of Tarukua Village, Moala, Lau. He normally attends the Lau Provincial Council as their area's representative.
Fani Toga Vosaniveibuli is not on the list of directors and neither is Susana Evening, who holds 354 Class A shares (open to Lauans only) and is the national president of the Catholic Womens League of Fiji. Vosaniveibuli and Evening, however, appear in the promotional literature of the investment banking group Kontiki Capital which was delegated by Yatu Lau Company Limited to open Class B shares to the public in April 2007.
Another member of the 2007 Board is named as Watisoni Nata, the sacked managing director of Strategic Air Services, the company that provides air traffic control at Nadi International Airport.
A background investigation into Yatu Lau Company has revealed that Evening resigned in 2008 and was replaced by Esther Williams. In one of the largest equity transactions in Fiji’s capital market, Kontiki had successfully raised $2million for the Lauan investment company, Yatu Lau.
However, in Kontiki’s promotional literature, there was no mention of Fani Vosaniveibuli as being listed on the NBF’s Debtors List. Maybe, no thorough research was carried out on the individuals Kontiki listed as Yatu Lau Board Members who included Vosaniveibuli and Kacisolomone. Vosaniveibuli is listed on the 1996 collapsed National Bank of Fiji’s Debtors List as owing $150,156.
She also stood for election in the 2006 general election as a National Alliance Party of Fiji candidate for the Lau, Tavenui, Rotuma seat, and was soundly beaten by SDL’s Savenaca Draunidalo by 10,888 votes to Vosaniveibuli’s 2,553.
As a side note, Draunidalo was also on the list. NBF’s Government Buildings Branch records as follows: Lt. Col. S. Draunidalo, $156,605. After I had identified him in the first instalment, the family wrote to say that Draunidalo had ‘sued NBF and the matter was settled. He sold his house and paid every cent of the settlement back to NBF’. I was asked to contact the family’s lawyer, which I did but the lawyer declined to provide details, citing client confidentiality.
Meanwhile, another debtor listed on that 1996 list, the former Attorney-General Qoriniasi Bale, wrote and informed me that, ‘I confirm that whatever debt my Firm (I was solo practitioner) had was settled sometime in 2005 or 2006 through the NBF's Asset Management Division. They sold my property which was pledged as security to that debt, and the final settlement negotiated through our Accountants was paid in cash by the Firm’.
Unlike the Draunidalo family and Bale, Vosaniveibuli’s political boss and founder of the NAFP, Epeli Ganilau, the current illegal Minister for Defence, has remained eerily silent on his debt, and that of his family’s Qeleni Holdings Ltd, which were listed as follows: Qeleni Holdings Ltd - $716,748; Epeli Ganilau - $631,594.
Another Vosaniveibuli – Apisai (Fani Toga’s husband), is listed in 1996 as owing $24,305.92 to the collapsed National Bank of Fiji.
Who else, besides Kacisolomone and Fani Toga Vosaniveibuli, is from Yatu Lau on that National Bank of Fiji Debtors List?
To be continued
Editor’s Note: We will continue to reveal debtors names, which includes those of high chiefs, politicians, Indo-Fijians, Rotumans, Part-Europeans, business houses, including individual supporters of the present illegal junta in Fiji. If you or your family has paid back the NBF loans, please provide Victor Lal with evidence. He can be reached at email@example.com