Voreqe Bainimarama's comments in the Fiji Sun of 15th June 2012, warning politicians cannot go unchallenged. I have used Coup 4.5 as the Fiji Sun told me they will not run my letter and the Fiji Times told me that they do not run responses to stories in other newspapers.
Mr Bainimarama says past and current political leaders were corrupt. What about Mr Bainimarama's regime? Is it pure as the driven snow? Is it what Mr Bainimarama would like us to believe?
Before I dwell on the subject matter proper, I think it is inappropriate to address Mr Bainimarama as Prime Minister as he is only an interim appointee and holds no legitimate mandate from the people in this regard. The same goes for the attorney general and other ministers. The regime is an interim regime and no amount of top dressing or embellishment by the regime will change this fact.
I am no politician but believe that I do possess the necessary cognitive abilities to analyse the comments made by the interim prime minister yesterday in the context of the 2006 coup and thereafter. It is time people speak out.
The promise in 2006 was a clean up campaign. So what has been cleaned up? From my point of view the treasury has been cleaned up, FNPF member funds have been cleaned up and the rights of citizens to expression and opinion has been muzzled.
The media has been castrated by the Media Decree and journalists like Maika Bolatiki write articles which are hardly facts in substance but opinions with larges doses of pro regime embellishment to curry favour with the regime so as to get more advertising revenue from the interim regime. Other journalists merely comply for reasons of job security or threats from the goons at the military camp.
Fiji Television has been advised that its broadcasting license will not be renewed for running political stories where views contrary to that of the interim regime were reported. Reporters and staff are worried about their future as many have mortgages and other financial commitments. Where is the commitment to freedom of expression? Why muzzle dissenting views? Are you afraid of being exposed for the fraud that you are Mr Bainimarama?
The economy is stagnant or more likely is recording negative growth. Wadan Narsey has written on this subject comprehensively on several occasions recently. University graduates are working for as little as $60 per week and many of their fellow graduates remain unemployed.
The agriculture sector has been neglected and there has been no fresh impetus to resuscitate the industry. The sugar industry is virtually dead in Sigatoka and in parts of the northern division. Farmers and their families from the North are migrating to Viti Levu and many end up squatting in the Suva – Nausori corridor. Agriculture officials and civil servants in general are too afraid to suggest anything to the regime for fear of losing their jobs so basically do anything to placate their current masters.
Corruption in the civil service is rife as civil servants, with poor pay and little training or supervision take advantage of the situation by accepting a little extra from certain members of the public to get the job done faster.
They call it the incentive allowance. This Mr Bainimarama is the legacy of your clean up campaign. Valuable State land, which should be reserved for housing or government projects have been given to foreign investors often at fire sale prices without being advertised. Look at the Tengy Cement Factory site at Lami – given free and the land next to Garden City – given to Chinese investors.
Mangroves are been destroyed and hundreds and thousands of marine life and their ecosystems are being lost perhaps forever. Environmental impact assessment reports are disregarded and for the Namosi Mine the interim prime minister said no such report was necessary.
Why? Because his palms had been greased. Is this the clean up campaign you were talking about Mr Bainimarama? Chinese investors wine and dine and give gifts to the interim prime minister in exchange for services and favours which locals would only dream of. Has Mr Bainimarama ever declared in the official gift register how many and the value of such gifts by Chines investors?
Police officers have to pay for stationery used by them and often work long hours without any extra pay or benefits. To top it off, their commissioner takes every opportunity to lash out at them in the media. It is thus little wonder that morale in this law enforcement agency is at its lowest ebb.
Police officers have been charged for breaking into the exhibits rooms and stealing narcotics. Police have been charged for assault and theft. Is this the clean up you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
The civil service is totally demoralised and not focused on work as the whole civil service culture and processes have been bastardised and prostituted by the interim regime. Droves of civil servants are leaving for the private sector or going abroad. The alarming concern is that Fijians also leaving in large numbers. To fill the void untrained, unqualified and family members and friends of the interim regime are recruited.
Francis Kean – a convicted felon who received his full pay and benefits whilst imprisoned for murder/manslaughter – has somehow been made a permanent secretary despite have an adverse criminal record. Would any other person charged for murder and convicted for manslaughter be considered for such a senior civil service position? Yet Mr Bainimarama's brother in law Francis Kean was. Is this the clean up you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
Regime supporters continue to benefit in the absence of proper accountability and transparency mechanisms. One legal person Nazhat Shameem has secured all State contracts, none of which were ever advertised. She is legal consultant to the Police, the DPP, FICAC, and a host of other government entities.
She appears to have easier access to judges, some of whom are all too willing to attend and speak at workshops facilitated by her. Judges should not have such close interaction with a legal practitioner for very clear and ethical reasons but continue to do so.
Why? Because they fear losing their contracts if they don’t grease up to Shameem – who for some warped reason refers to herself as Madam. She has now been allocated space in the prime minister’s office and is paid for consultancy services.
No advertisement was placed for this position and the terms and conditions of engagement remain a secret. Is this the clean up you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
Interference in the judiciary is unprecedented and departing Sri Lankan judicial and legal officers have confirmed what everyone was suspecting all along in the judiciary in that it was subservient to the wishes of the interim attorney general. One such lackey Daniel Goundar booked a one way ticket to Sydney on 6th June 2012. Many former magistrates and judges now openly talk about the interference by the illegal attorney general.
The Qaranivalu conviction by Paul Madigan was celebrated by a cocktail hosted by Mr Bainimarama. All DPP staff were in attendance led by the former DPP and then regime stooge, Aca Rayawa. Judges like Daniel Goundar, Thurairaja, Madigan and Salesi Temo all have direct conversations with the DPP and in effect act as their agents in Court. Can anyone then be assured of a fair trial? Is this your idea of a clean up campaign Mr Bainimarama?
Cabinet minister’s salaries are not paid by the Cabinet office or the Finance Ministry but by a consultant firm headed by Nur Bano Ali. These salaries and benefits paid from the public purse have never been made available to the tax payers? Why? Is this the clean up campaign you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
Many in the military loathe Bainimarama but say nothing for fear of losing their commissions. Rank and file officers have had no raises and for the most part eat eggplant and tin fish whilst the top officials have nothing but the best.
For them bank loans, credit applications and personal favours are done at the drop of a hat. Senior military officers like Mosese Tikoitoga and Sitiveni Qiliho have had extra marital affairs with children being born out of wedlock and yet nothing is done to them. Lower ranked officers are sacked for much lesser indiscretions. Is this the clean up that you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
Poverty is rampant and food prices have soared. Salaries and wages have been put on hold by employers who know that the current state of affairs will mean that workers will work for anything as employment is hard to find.
Labour ministry officials are bought out by employers and hardly do time and wage audits, preferring to cast a blind eye to such glaring breaches of labour laws. Is this the clean up campaign you were talking about Mr Bainimarama?
This is just a snap shot of Fiji under Mr Bainimarama. The country is in the abyss of poverty, moral turpitude and cultural and social de-fragmentation.
This is your legacy Mr Bainimarama. The clean up campaign was to clean out the murder investigation and charges against you and for your complicity in mishandling the military regimental funds where millions of dollars remain unaccounted for and from which a sum of $470,000 was used by Mohammed Aziz for his law studies at Bond University in Australia.
Accept it Mr Bainimarama, the so called clean up campaign was self-serving. No amount of spin, threats or deceit will change this fact. The fact remains that your own senior officers have by their statements impeached your credibilityand exposed you as a liar, a women basher and a drunkard. You have no political support or respect from anyone except the hangers on who are only using you for their personal gain.
Politicians despite all their criticisms are elected by the people and it is the people that remove politicians – not by the barrel of a gun but through the civilised means of a ballot. This is my and the civilised world’s accepted mode of government. It should also be the same for Fiji.