19 December 2014,
One of two Fiji TV executives sacked in the wake of a Rugby Sevens broadcasting scandal has supported claims she and her colleague were sacrificed to secure the network's license.
Sacked Fiji TV executive says they were sacrificed for licence. Tanya Waqanika, former head of content and production at FTV, and former chief executive Tevita Gonelevu were called in by the board earlier this week to be told they'd lost their jobs.
It came after the network was unable to broadcast the Dubai rugby sevens tournament, something World Rugby blames on the Fiji government, although the government disputes that.
The Minister for communications, Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum, has told local media the allegations are ridiculous.
Ms Waqanika says she and her colleague were sacrificed by the company.
Presenter: Bruce Hill
Speakers: Tanya Waqanika, former head of content and production at Fiji TV
Listen to her interview with Radio Australia below:
She has a practicing lawyer's license to tell the TRUTH whereas he has a practicing license to tell LIES
Fijileaks to Aiyaz Khaiyum: Why are you hiding the Midlife Investments Ltd company file from us when you claimed in your Declaration that you own a plot of land in Wailoaloa worth '$80,000" THROUGH MIL?
Registrar of Companies can't find the file in the system!
December 19th, 2014
OPPOSITION WHIP CALLS ON PRIME MINISTER BAINIMARAMA TO ACT ON THE ‘MOTHER OF ALL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST’
Opposition Chief Whip Ratu Isoa Tikoca today called on the Prime Minister to either remove the Information portfolio from his Attorney General Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, or instruct Mr Sayed-Khaiyum to terminate his younger brother as CEO of Fiji Broadcasting Corporation Limited (FBCL).
Ratu Isoa said the continuing conflict of interest involving Mr Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was intolerable and against all the rules of good governance. Where else would a government minister have cabinet responsibility for a portfolio that included his brother as CEO of a major public enterprise?
The fact is, this would not be permitted in a properly operating democracy.
The Opposition says Mr Sayed-Khiyum’s situation relating to the FBC is the “mother of all conflicts”. It could not be allowed to continue.
He said it clearly brought into focus the relationship between the brothers. What influence has this had on the enactment of undemocratic decrees that directly benefit FBCL?
Ratu Isoa said while this ‘mother of all conflicts’ in government has been obvious to many people in Fiji for some time, it appears not to be apparent to the Attorney General. Despite being the chief legal advisor to Government, he does not seem to see the conflict.
Ratu Isoa said that despite this, there are signs it is preying on Mr Sayed-Khiyum’s mind.
The Minister himself raised the relationship of him and his brother as a possible ‘motive’ for the Opposition focusing on the issue of his ill-conceived Cross Carriage of Designated Events television broadcast decree during the last Parliament Session.
The Opposition Whip reminded Prime Minister Bainimarama that former Prime Minister Qarase was sent to jail for 12 months for an alleged conflict of interest matter that occurred nearly 20 years ago. Yet here we have a glaring and continuing conflict of interest issue with severe financial consequences for some independent media organizations. The Prime Minister and his Media Industry Development Authority (MIDA) are turning a blind eye to this.
Ratu Isoa said this is yet another example of ‘unequal citizenry’. While people can be jailed for not declaring their interests, a Government Minister remains untouched even when his conflict of interest is so glaring.
Ratu Isoa said he had three questions he wanted the Prime Minister to answer on this issue:-
- Did he or the Attorney General indicate or infer directly or indirectly to a publicly listed company that certain people should be dismissed in exchange for an extended television operating license?
- Why is Mr Sayed-Khaiyum keeping Fiji TV on six months licenses, when the FBCL apparently has a 12-year license? Such commercial discrimination is unprecedented in Fiji.
- Can the Prime Minister or Attorney General tell the people of Fiji who wrote the Fiji TV letter to the World Rugby dated December 3 that was signed by Fiji TV Chairman Naiveli and CEO Gonelevu?
Opposition Chief Whip