Ro Teimumu said quite apart from showing up their basic bad manners, and lack of common courtesy, what the Prime Minister’s office did by instructing the civil servants not meet or brief us was un-Fijian, real Fijians would never turn away visitors to their homes, that is not who we are and that is certainly not how we behave.
Ro Teimumu said that as their tour progressed and they had the opportunity to speak directly to the people including some government workers and civil servants it became very obvious that they all worked in fear of losing their jobs. They want to say something but are afraid because a colleague could report on them and they could lose their job, just for speaking the truth. Some civil servants were quite upfront about it and said if they say anything bad about what is going on, they will be terminated, so they have to say good things, even though they know it’s wrong?
Yet during the same week that we were hearing from frightened government workers in the North, the PM was reported to have said to former Fiji citizens in Sydney quote "I have said it before and I say it again: The fact that you were made to feel unwelcome in your country of birth is the most shameful episode in our nation's history". According to the report, he also said that "being Fijian was much more than having a common name — it means to love one another and to have a caring heart’
Does Frank Bainimarama know that he is responsible for this most shameful period in our history? Or is he still in a state of denial? And as far as loving one and other and having a caring heart’ obviously for Frank Bainimarama his way of showing love and having a caring heart is:-
- Ignoring the pleas from families of all those citizens tortured abused and killed under his watch who have been denied justice, closure and compensation. Or
- Arresting and beating up opponents
- Declaring Professor Brij Lal and his wife ‘national security risks’ and banning them from returning to Fiji because of their political views, while inviting others to return.
- Inviting professor Yash Ghai to come and prepare a constitution and when he’s done his work, trash and burn it and ignore the people’s will as expressed in the 2012 People draft, instead he imposes his own 2013 constitution, which is yet to be endorsed by the people.
- Deny the family of Puna Chand justice, by allowing Praveen Bala to continue as a Minister and delaying his court case by more than 2 years.
SOME OF THE ISSUES ENCOUNTERED IN OUR NORTH TOUR
The North tour was undertaken by me in my capacity as Opposition Leader, it is a constitutional appointment and as Opposition Leader I am duty bound to go to the people, meet and listen to their concerns, assess the progress or failures of government so as to ensure, we, the Opposition keep them accountable to our people. I was accompanied by Hon Nawaikula who is an Opposition Member from the North. This was not a SODELPA organized tour.
I offer a brief summary of some of the issues we encountered.
1: Provincial Administrators: Naulumatua House & Others
Provincial Administrators were instructed by the Prime Minister’s office not to meet the Opposition Leader or her delegation during her North trip. Despite this Ro Teimumu Kepa and Hon Niko Nawaikula visited all Provincial Administration offices that they passed through.
Ro Teimumu said, said it was clear the officials were embarrassed by what they were told to do, some of them had not heard the instructions so we told them to check to ensure they would not be victimized The advice from the PM ‘s office came back, not to meet with the Opposition Leader.
This policy is consistent with the PM’s claims in Oct 26 2014 that only Fiji First supporters would receive development in the North not everyone. This policy was reiterated by the Attorney General back in February 2015 [copy attached] when we were first planning our visits to constituencies and government owned enterprises to be appraised on their activities.
The role of an Opposition in any democracy is to keep the government of the day accountable, all organizations owned or funded by taxpayers are not the private companies of the AG or PM, they belong ultimately to the people and as their representatives, the Opposition Members of Parliament are entitled to visit and be appraised of their activities.
The attached letter should be sufficient proof to support our findings in the North that while the Prime Minister speaks of unity and working together, his plan in place remains divide and rule.
But we will push on regardless and cover the whole of Fiji and the people will eventually hear the truth of what is going on.
Nawailevu village Bua.
THE STATE CHEQUE OF $577,050.0
You would think that after the ‘multimillion’ Bauxite deal between Government and Xinfa and the relentless defense of the benefits that the land owners are getting by Lands Minister, that the state of Nawailevu Village would have improved. It has not! It is the same as it was before the deal.
The so called $577,050 Government cheque presented to the Landowners 4 years and 8 months ago now hangs in the Turaga Ni Yavusa’s home. The full proceeds from it have still not trickled down to the landowners.
From information provided by the landowners it would appear that they have only been able to access 25% of their funds. Approximately $288,000 has been distributed to members. The balance of $289,050 or 50% remains unpaid.
Add to this the initial good will of $600,000 which remains out of reach as this is only accessible through specific project applications from the landowners, which many have done, but most have so far been rejected? This means about 75% of the funds due to Landowners so far remains unpaid, yet their resource has been taken and much of their land now remaining bare.
3. Nabawalu Market
This market is in a dilapidated condition and repeated complaints from market vendors go unheeded, it is unhygienic and only 1 tap works. Vendors pay approximately $40 per month for fees, yet no improvements to the condition of the market have occurred.
4. Nabawalu – Dreketi $228 million road works
Although this major works is occurring in the area, the level of local employment is negligible. According to a number of villages in the area only a handful of the local villages have employment on the project itself.
5. Unhappy Infrastructure & Transport workers
Workers raised the matter of their employment security at the Ministry. Workers have been under temporary contracts for the past 8 years since 2008, opportunity for permanent employment has been continuously denied to them.
Under Temporary Work contracts, the employer is obliged to pay for their passage back home at the completion of their 3 months. On the day we arrived, they were ready to board the ferry when the PS called and ordered them all off the ferry and denied them their trip home.
This type of treatment of workers would never be allowed in a true democracy.
There are many other issues that we will release details on over the coming weeks so that the people get to know what is really happening in Fiji. It is important for our people to become inquisitive and ‘look behind’ the PR rhetoric orchestrated by QORVIS for the Government and issued via their propaganda outlets.
The truth is quite different to what the government & QORVIS have been spinning.
Ro Teimumu Kepa
Leader of the Opposition
October 23 2015
Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa China Railway First Group Fiji Company Limited has today clarified that majority of the employees working on the Nabouwalu to Dreketi highway project are locals. This follows claims made by Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa today that she went on a Northern tour and is concerned that almost everyone working on the road project are from China. She says the road is good but she then further claimed that there are many Chinese workers.
According to statistics received by China Railway First Group Fiji Company Limited, 75% of the workers are locals. They have 488 local workers working on the project in the North while there are 135 workers from China. The company’s Manager Public Relations, Donald Singh says the company is a major employment provider for about 7 years for locals in Fiji. Singh says he thinks the Opposition Leader or whoever for that matter, should first consult him before using incorrect information as political tools. Source: Fijivillage News
Bainimarama tells Kepa to stop thinking that she is the leader of the government
Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama says Ro Teimumu Kepa should wake up and stop thinking that she is the leader of the government of the day.
Bainimarama says people cannot just walk into any government office and start having meetings with civil servants and ask for information about government related matters.
Opposition Leader, Ro Teimumu Kepa raised concern in a press conference that the Prime Minister’s Office has issued a directive for the Provincial Administrators not to meet her when she went on a Northern tour earlier this week.
She says she wanted civil servants to share the information about their work with her.
Bainimarama says Ro Teimumu and the opposition as a whole should stop thinking that they are in government.
He says no one can just walk into any office and start asking for information.
Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the opposition can ask questions about government services in parliament and they can also speak to the relevant ministers.
He also says this was a party visit and it was not sanctioned by parliament. Source: Fijivillage News