Roko Ului Mara has arrived in New Zealand and is due to give his first meeting today in Auckland but he's already facing difficulties.
The Auckland and Wellington meetings are being handled by different groups and the planning has had hiccups with conflicting information over basic things like the venue for the Auckland meeting with some people saying Pukekohe and others Papatoetoe.
The organising for the Auckland gatherings have been done by the newly formed Auckland chapter of the Australian Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement which started out originally as Free Fiji Movement led by former SDL MP Rajesh Singh.
The only information on their website is a flyer promoting a "Free Fiji Rally" at 5pm on Saturday with Roko Ului as keynote and trade unionists Peter Conway and Labour Party MP Rajen Prasad. It also says messages from former deposed PM, Laisenia Qarase, and FLP leader, Mahendra Chaudhry, will be read out - by Rajesh Singh and Satish Chand.
The Wellington meetings are being organised by the Wellington Fiji Community and Wellington Fiji Democracy and Freedom Movement. It would be fair to say not everyone helping with the organising is totally supportive of Mara and are doing it because they've been asked to by the Australian FDFM and because they don't want to let the community down.
More worryingly, the longest running Fiji pro-democracy group last night revealed it has filed a police complaint against the former 3FIR Commander alleging he is guilty of torture and human rights violations and should be arrested.
The complaint by Nik Naidu's Fiji Coalition for Democracy group and the shambles in the planning reveals the divisions in the community over Mara. As previously stated, many people want a return to democracy for Fiji but many have been unable to embrace Mara publicly and buy into the dogma "thine enemy's enemy is my friend."
Despite reassuring people he is willing to be accountable, Mara's own past continues to distract, in spite of his popularity. It has not helped that he has surrounded himself with former politicians, largely considered by many people to be 'tainted.'
Roko Ului's own aunty, the Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa, is currently in Auckland at the invite of a Wellington lawyer to meet tangata whenua and will not be attending any of Mara's meetings. Her people say she is relaxing, sightseeing and shopping and has not planned to participate in any of the Mara forums.