The JAN FAMILY and FFP: In 2015, we had argued that Aiyaz Khaiyum was hiding the Auditor-General's 2014 Report to protect his DONORS. We suspected Western Builders/TF Jan Bulldozing. Now, $30,000 from THEM
BIG BUCKS: The Directors, Shareholders, and their Families, representing of some of Fiji's largest companies, took full advantage of Khaiyum's Convoluted Donation Decree, with Tappoos dwarfing
'STEPTOE AND SON' FULL MONTY STRIP SHOW: Not To Our Taste
We will also reveal SODELPA, FLP and other parties donors. Our Founding-Editor-in Chief and Co-Winner with former Fiji Sun Publisher Russell Hunter of the 2008 Robert Keith-Reid Award for Outstanding Journalism, has over three decades of experience in investigative journalism - from exposing [with others, led by 'Spike' Padarath, the late Editor of the original Fiji Sun] the infamous 1982 Carroll Report of the Alliance Party to Haryanagate: FLP leader Mahendra Pal Chaudhry's $2million secret stash in an Australian bank account, leading to his CONVICTION. In 2016, our Founding Editor-in-Chief [and Fijileaks] were short-listed with top 100 other 'remarkable champions against censorship' for
From Fijileaks Archives, 3 June 2015:
CONSULTING FIJIFIRST PARTY LIST: Phillip Temo, the founder of Temo Consulting donated $25,000, the former manager of Matapo Momi Project
On 25 May 2015, Temo donated $5,000 to FFP Treasurer, Receipt No 86. Two years later, he doubled his donation to $10,000. RN, 1688 but there is no evidence who at FFP received his donation. A year later, on 24 October 2018, he donated the maximum $10,000. This donation has no receipt number nor who from FFP accepted his donation. Again, these donations are legal under Aiyaz Khaiyum's cleverly crafted Donor Decree
SUPER GOLDEN DONATION TO FFP: Sunil [Prasad] MISHRA, owner of Super Construction and Golden Point Resort donated $30,000. He is the one who was cited (no name) by Auditor-General - Rakiraki Market saga
HIS son SHANE MISHRA donated $10,000 to FijiFirst Party. He made the donation on 22 October 2018, two months before the November 2018 election. There is no record of any receipt or who from the FFP accepted the donation. His father Sunil Mishra made his first donation on 19 June 2014 to FFP Treasurer Vimlesh Kumar, the current acting Fiji Pine Ltd CEO. On 20 March 2017, Mishra made another donation of $10,000 under the name, Sunil PRASAD Mishra, and on 6 October 2018, a further $10,000. In total, FATHER-SON donated $40,000. As we have pointed out regarding previous donors, the donations are legal under Aiyaz Khaiyum's Donation Decree but it is the perception of bias, nepotism, and even conflict of interest that must be troubling the ordinary Fijian citizens of all races who have the power to VOTE but are penniless to DONATE. Super Construction was awarded contracts for the Bau Central College, Nadi and Ra Municipal Markets, Cyclone Winston school repairs, rural drainage and civil works in the western division, and Parveen Bala reportedly had awarded Super Constructon the Lautoka City Council works. However, it was the Rakiraki Market loan saga and the winning of contract afterwards that has propelled Sunil Mishra and his Super Construction in the news, even though Fijian media have not identified him in person. The 2018-2019 Audit-General's Report on Rakiraki
On 23 March 2017, Sadranu donated $5000 to FijiFirst Party. We do not know who received the donation, for one of the three receivers, FFP Head Office, Treasurer, and Shailesh Kumar are not listed. Receipt No: 1673. Receiver: N/A (Not Available). She is the second Special Administrator to have donated to FFP; Justin Hunter, the Special Administrator for Savusavu and founder of J. Hunter Pearls Fiji (with wife): $11,000. Sadranu donated in March 2017. In November, Faiyaz Koya was hailing her contribution to the Spa Industry. Donation is legitimate but once again issue of perception of bias and nepotism might be raised. And the ratepayers will now be frightened to speak out against the FFP Government. STEP DOWN!
In June 2020,
STRIPPING KHAIYUM, Slowly, slowly, to reveal his corrupt 'Underpants'. GRAHAM DAVIS, branded the 'AGEING DRAMA QUEEN', Presses On
There’s nothing like a Prime Ministerial attack to boost one’s readership and I am indebted to Frank Bainimarama for propelling Grubsheet Feejee – within a month of its resumption – into the frontline of the national debate in Fiji. In one grumpy outburst written for him by Qorvis and the Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, the Prime Minister made me more relevant than I deserve. His comments were on the front page of the two daily newspapers and led the main television news programs and every radio bulletin. So that if anyone hadn’t heard of Graham Davis or Grubsheet before, they do now and that has been reflected in a huge increase in the number of “hits” on this website.
34,348 people visited Grubsheet in the week from Friday September 18 to Friday September 25 (yesterday), with a big spike in the wake of the PM’s comments. So to him I say vinaka vakalevu and to all of you – Dear Readers – an even bigger vinaka for your interest, whether you live in Fiji or the diaspora. This 34,000 doesn’t take into account those who have read my articles when they are republished on Victor Lal’s Fijileaks or cited on social media. So that figure will be even higher.
As I’ve said before, it was astonishing to me that the Prime Minister recorded a formal statement for the cameras accusing me of trading in gossip, of having a predilection for drama when I worked for him and citing my age as a reason for him to wish me best wishes in my retirement. We are the same age – 66. So if I was being cast as “retired” when I’m not, why wouldn’t the Prime Minister also be contemplating retirement instead of insisting on contesting the next election? It was all very weird. And because I know how the government works, a sign of abject panic on the part of the AG, who always uses the PM’s authority in such instances to make a point without any thought of the potential of making him look stupid.
The Fiji Times front page today ( September 26) picks up the story and next to a photo of Seruiratu asks: “Will he be next”. Well, yes, if what the Prime Minister told the Military Council in the 2018 election aftermath still applies. The paper says it asked the PM and the AG on Tuesday whether what I’d reported on Grubsheet is correct. Four days later, the Fiji Times says it has still had no response.
I know that some of those closest to the Prime Minister were appalled by his attack on me, and especially his attempt to demean me as some sort of bit player who he knew but wasn’t really important, which merely raised the question of why on earth he’d be attacking me in the first place if that was the case. He knows and everyone around him knows that I was at the centre of government and played a significant role in bolstering its fortunes and those of the Prime Minister.
For years before I joined Qorvis in 2012, I was a Bainimarama supporter – regularly explaining his agenda in articles in the regional media -and especially The Australian newspaper – and from 2011, in the columns of Grubsheet Feejee. For a long time – as many readers will remember – these articles were republished in the Fiji Sun and had considerable impact on wider public opinion. For obvious reasons, The AG-controlled Sun has not displayed quite the same alacrity since the relaunch of Grubsheet last month to resume that arrangement. But those articles – from 2011 to 2014 – are still available for any reader interested in looking back over the Grubsheet archive. And they demonstrate beyond question my support for Frank Bainimarama’s principal agenda of levelling the playing field in Fiji and guaranteeing the rights of every Fijian, irrespective of ethnicity and religious affiliation.
Engaged by Qorvis in Suva on the basis of my writings, I crafted the government’s winning narrative during the tumultuous period leading up to the return to parliamentary rule in September 2014. There was a particular emphasis on service delivery and inclusiveness. “We deliver”, was a line devised by my Qorvis colleague, Sol Levine. To that I added “We serve.” Along with a repeated emphasis on Fiji as a caring society in which the Bainimarama government was giving people equal opportunity and a leg-up, not a handout, to help them help themselves to improve their lives and those of their families.
I wrote the Prime Minister’s speeches that propelled him to national, regional and global status as a statesman and did so as a true believer, not a hired gun. I was especially emotional the night I wrote his announcement of free education as I recalled the many times that underprivileged parents had come to our family home when I was a child asking for assistance with their children’s school fees. I still think it’s the proudest achievement of the Bainimarama era – a leg-up without parallel in Fijian history.
Over the years, I had also grown close to both the PM and AG, peppering them with suggestions and advice and even ironing out differences between them. But I now think they have lost their way and am saying so. As I’ve already reported, I did what I could before I went public in these columns to persuade Frank Bainimarama to change course and especially in the wake of the disastrous 2018 election campaign. He has chosen not to do so. But it is a mistake and I am going to continue to say so.
It often seems that the PM is spooked by the prospect of change. But there is still time for him to reinvent the government, to remove the AG – who has become increasingly erratic and mercurial – and put Fiji on a different course. He has the people there to do it. Mere Vuniwaqa would make a great deputy prime minister and attorney general and the team of Frank Bainimarama and Mere Vuniwaqa has the capacity to beat Sitiveni Rabuka and Lynda Tabuya in 2022, whereas the team of Frank Bainimarama and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum will not. And Jone Usamate easily has the intellectual firepower to take over as minister of economy, especially assisted by economic heavy hitters already on the government payroll such as Arif Ali, Makareta Konrote, Filimone Waqabaca and Jitoko Tikolevu, and those who could make up an external advisory panel of such luminaries as Savenaca Narube and Biman Prasad.
It can be done and must be done or FijiFirst faces almost certain defeat at the next election and the destruction of Frank Bainimarama’s reputation and legacy. It was never likely, given my personal commitment to his revolution, that the “ageing drama queen” would be deterred by what the Aussies would call some half-arsed attack, even by someone of the statue of the Prime Minister. So, Dear Reader, we press on.
Graham Davis: A Tangled Web of Secrets and Control (Part One)
It is all the result of 14 years of the AG acting as puppet master in the government, the civil service, state enterprises and to a large extent, the business community. Yet serious questions are now being asked about the propriety of some of those arrangements and whether they serve the public interest. And by figures of stature in the community such as Savenaca Narube – the former Governor of the Reserve Bank, former Permanent Secretary for Finance and leader of the Unity Party.
Narube enjoys a solid reputation across the political spectrum for his economic prowess and experience, as well as his ability to articulate complex issues in the media with more clarity than most of the Fijian commentariat. In this week’s Fiji Sun/Western Force poll on preferred prime minister, Narube came in fifth place after Frank Bainimarama, Sitiveni Rabuka, Aseri Radrodro and Mahendra Chaudhry but ahead of Biman Prasad, which shows that his writing is producing a valuable political dividend.
Opposition politicians such as Biman Prasad and Mahendra Chaudhry have long called into question some of these arrangements and relationships. Yet Narube went in hard in a Fiji Times article last Saturday (September 19) , not only on the startling level of debt the country is accruing to survive the Covid-19 crisis – which he put at more than $10-billion, $2-billion above the official account- but the propriety of some of the appointments that have been made to state-owned institutions and the conduct of some of these institutions.
Narube particularly targeted the governance of the FNPF, which he said was still financially strong but was heavily exposed because the AG had “permitted the FNPF to lend to Fiji Airways, allowed members to withdraw (funds) because of the crisis, and reduced the contribution from both employers and employees”. “What worries me the most is the political interference in the policies of the Fund, the lack of independence of some members of the board and the apparent omission to apply the ‘fit and proper’ standards to some board members by the regulator, which is the Reserve Bank of Fiji”, Narube wrote.
Before we examine the governance of the FNPF in detail, the issue of board appointments warrants some context: It’s axiomatic that small countries like Fiji generally have much smaller pools of expertise to call on to run their enterprises. Yet even so, it’s astonishing that this clique now is so relatively small, reflecting the AG’s obsession with control and the fact that he trusts so few people. Equally astonishing is the lack of transparency and accountability about how these people are appointed and the manner in which they preside over these businesses, that are ultimately owned by the Fijian people, employ many of them and affect their lives on a daily basis.
When Frank Bainimarama seized power in 2006, much was made about the need for a “clean-up campaign” to address the alleged corruption and cronyism of the Qarase government. Yet having got rid of Laisenia Qarase’s cronies, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has merely installed his own. There is no independent process to select board members. It is entirely at the AG’s discretion. Which means that he exercises an extraordinary degree of control over the FNPF, state-owned enterprises and statutory authorities and the Fijian economy generally through the people he chooses and the appointments he makes.
From time to time, the Fijian media will be summoned to a photo call or news conference at which new board appointments are paraded. Yet there is virtually no media questioning, let alone genuine scrutiny, of those being appointed, the overlap between their private and public interests in Fiji and some of the inherent conflicts of interest across this network. The Fijian people generally have no idea how these businesses operate. Yet there’s little doubt that practices have developed that would not meet governance standards in other democracies and, indeed, some that would attract the scrutiny of their regulatory authorities.
What the AG wants, the AG generally gets, though not always. Yet when he doesn’t, the record shows that he generally does what he can to get around the obstacles in his way. When chairs of boards don’t yield to his demands, they are generally replaced with people who are more compliant. And as with everything else in the conduct of government, personal loyalty to the AG is more important than loyalty to the government as a whole or the interests of the Fijian people – the ultimate shareholders of these institutions.
Among other things, the AG has engineered a situation in which a close associate who he made chair of Energy Fiji Limited has presided over the sale of 20 per cent of EFL to the national superannuation fund – the FNPF – to benefit the AG’s budgetary position. And then after the FNPF baulked at buying as much of EFL as the AG wanted, he appointed the EFL chair – the seller – to also chair the FNPF – the buyer. At the same time, he put two other associates onto the FNPF Board. Making it much more likely that the FNPF will bend to the AG’s will in future – as the Covid crisis accelerates – to be able to access the piggy bank that constitutes the retirement savings of the Fijian people.
Anywhere else in the world, this would trigger a political storm yet passes with relatively little criticism in Fiji. As does the inherent conflict of interest of the CEO of Fiji Airways receiving a loan for the airline through the Fiji Development Bank and soon afterwards being appointed chair of the FDB – the institution that funnelled money to the airline from the Reserve Bank. By global standards, these occurrences are highly irregular – the AG as puppet master installing loyalists on the boards of publicly owned enterprises and through them, directing and controlling these institutions. This control benefits the FijiFirst government but whether these arrangements are in the public interest is another question altogether.
But who are some of these people? And what are their relationship with the AG and FijiFirst that have earned them his patronage and their positions? In this two part series over the next week, Grubsheet turns the spotlight on some of the principal individuals who run our institutions and exposes some of the conflicts of interests inherent in their appointments and their conduct.
THE FNPF: YOUR MONEY IN THEIR HANDS:
Among the most glaring perceived conflicts of interest is that of Daksesh Patel – who since January, has been Chair of one of Fiji’s most important institutions – the Fiji National Provident Fund, which the AG is using as the principal vehicle to get the country through the financial challenges of the Covid-19 crisis. This includes allowing the Fijian people to access some of their retirement savings to live on – which the AG shamelessly describes as “assistance” when it is their own money – and providing FNPF loans to Fiji Airways to keep it afloat, while reducing employer contributions to the FNPF.
Daksesh Patel is a Fijian businessman with a global reputation. In Fiji, he is Executive Chairman of the Vinod Patel group – the family hardware company established by his father, Vinod, in Ba in 1962. But in Australia and the United States, he is President of the Liberty Steel Group, whose Executive Chairman and CEO is Sanjeev Gupta, the steel magnate who is one of the biggest names in global steel, with interests around the world. Daksesh Patel is also CEO of the Liberty subsidiary, Infrabuild – Australia’s largest manufacturer and supplier of steel products – and lives in Sydney, all of which makes him a very big corporate player indeed.
Daksesh Patel is a close associate of the Attorney General and a donor for Fiji First. But it is his dual role as Chair of Energy Fiji Limited as well as the FNPF that gives rise to the greatest concern. Last year, while Chair of EFL, Daksesh Patel presided over the sale of 20 per cent of EFL worth $220-million to the FNPF to help the AG meet a half billion dollar pre-Covid budget shortfall. The AG had wanted the FNPF to buy double that – 40 per cent or $440-million dollars worth of EFL shares. But the FNPF board – led at that time by Ajith Kodagoda – resisted this purchase and insisted that it be capped at $220-million. This left the AG with a bigger budget shortfall than he expected and he was not happy. Far from it. Because it did much to expose him politically by demonstrating his lack of prowess in managing the economy. And as it turned out, made Fiji far more vulnerable when Covid-19 struck because the cupboard was bare.
The AG had only been able to sell off half of the family silver at EFL that he wanted to sell to the people who arguably already owned it and the resulting shortfall shattered his well-crafted image of being a sound economic manager. As Economy Minister, he had overspent to try to secure votes in the 2018 election lead-up and had overestimated government revenue. Which meant that Fiji was already overextended even before the Covid-19 crisis began and is now so burdened by debt that those loan repayments will extend to future generations.
It became imperative to get control of the FNPF Board. So in January this year, when Ajith Kodagoda reached the end of his statutory term, he was replaced as FNPF chair by Daksesh Patel and two other AG loyalists – Sanjay Kaba and Mukhtar Ali also joined the FNPF board. So Daksesh Patel – the person who presided over the sale of EFL shares to the FNPF at the AG’s behest – and according to the government directory remains the Chair of EFL – is now chair of the purchaser of those shares, the FNPF.
Daksesh Patel insists that he has done nothing illegal and Grubsheet is not suggesting that he has. Yet in corporate governance terms, simultaneously wearing the two hats of chair of the FNPF and of EFL when $220-million has recently passed between them does not pass the credibility test in Fiji and would undoubtedly fail any test of probity in Australia and the US. Because he now has the power as Chair of the FNPF – with his fellow board members – to approve the further use of FNPF funds to benefit the AG’s budgetary position and whatever else the government might want to do with the retirement savings of the Fijian people. A classic conflict of interest by someone who has been a long-time friend of the AG and a FijiFirst donor. Victor Lal’s Fijileaks is reporting this week – having gained access to the records of the Fiji Elections Office – that Daksesh Patel donated $10,000 to FijiFirst on 14 October 2015 (Receipt Number 457).
Eyebrows were also raised when Daksesh Patel hired Qorvis – the government’s Washington-based communications consultants – to advise Energy Fiji Limited . This was also evidently at the behest of the AG, for whom Qorvis has become essential to his control of the government in that, among other things, it writes his narrative for the Prime Minister’s public utterances. Yet securing a contract with EFL in addition to its long-standing arrangement to provide the government with communications services is highly problematic. Here is a wholly-owned government statutory authority employing a foreign company to carry out work for it without a tender because of the personal relationship between the AG and Daksesh Patel. All of which raises further questions about corporate governance standards at the state-owned electricity provider.
The aforementioned Sanjay Kaba – who has joined Daksesh Patel on the board of the FNPF – is also a close personal associate of the AG, with strong tentacles in the business community in Fiji. He is said to have been FijiFirst’s principal fundraiser for the 2018 election campaign and as Grubsheet has previously reported, made up the two-man panel, with the AG, that interviewed prospective FijiFirst candidates for the election. Readers will recall that the AG and Sajay Kaba rejected the candidacy of Brigadier General (ret’d) Ioane Naivalurua, the Secretary of the Military Council that now wants changes to the government, including the removal of the AG and his power to make appointments to government boards.
Sanjay Kaba is a civil engineer who is Managing Director, Principal Structural Engineer and Projects Director at Houng Lee Jacob Kaba Ltd. As well as now being on the FNPF board, he is a former member of the Constitutional Offices Commission. And he is someone whose influence reaches through the business community, doing the bidding of his patron, the AG, who he has assisted not only with FijiFirst fundraising but in organising the rebuilding effort after Cyclone Winston. As we’ll see, many of the companies that benefited from this rebuilding by supplying the materials needed also have their senior executives on government boards. Which is problematic in itself.
It was on Sanjay Kaba’s advice as a civil engineer that work was interrupted on Fiji’s tallest building, the controversial 28-story WG Friendship Plaza on McGregor Road in Suva. Sanjay Kaba and a group of Australian engineers questioned the quality of the steel being used on the building on the basis that it was a potential fire hazard. But the decision to halt the project incensed the Chinese developers, who maintain that the structure is safe. And Grubsheet understands that over the objections of the AG and Sanjay Kaba, the Prime Minister ordered the suspension lifted and work on the complex is now proceeding.
This is an astonishing saga in itself – the erection of a building that now dominates the Suva skyline, and especially the state precinct around Albert Park, with no public consultation and, according to government sources, no reference to the cabinet. The Friendship Tower evidently went ahead on the sole say-so of the Prime Minister and Parveen Bala, the then minister for Local Government, Housing and Environment. Many regard it as a blight on the landscape that should never have been built. It has arguably scarred the city irreparably. But worse, the questions about whether the building is safe have never been adequately answered.
The third of the AG’s new appointments to the FNPF Board in January was that of Mukhtar Ali – a Californian banker. Ali is Chief Operating Officer of the Community Bank of the Bay in Oakland, California and is former President and CEO of the Mission National Bank in San Francisco. Again, according to Fijileaks, Mukhtar Ali donated $5000 to FijiFirst on June 25 2014 (receipt no 420).
So all three of these new appointments to the FNPF Board in January are heavily weighted with close associates of the AG in one way or another, and two of the others, as civil servants, patently owe their jobs to the AG’s continuing patronage. They are Makareta Konrote, the Permanent Secretary of Economy who is also on the board of the Reserve Bank. And Joel Abraham, the CEO of the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission, who is also on the Fiji Meat Industry Board. All this leaves just one person out of six on the FNPF Board with no obvious ties to the AG – Kalpana Lal, Head of Administration and Finance for the German government aid agency, GIZ. All of the others are either close associates or work for him at close quarters.
So by any internationally accepted standard, the FNPF Board is not in the least bit independent. It is controlled by the AG through his appointed Board members. And he now has the power to access FNPF funds with none of the impediments that existed when Ajith Kodagoda was chair of the FNPF and blocked his access to half of what he wanted to sell to it in EFL shares. Stripped to its bare essentials, the fox now controls the chook house and its eggs. And that should be of immense concern to FNPF members and the Fijian people as a whole.
FIJI AIRWAYS: WHEN THE BORROWER CHAIRS THE BOARD OF THE LENDER
Andre Viljoen is a respected airline executive and notable tough guy, as Grubsheet detailed in its story last month recounting how Viljoen had a gun put to his head when confronting an aircraft spare parts racket in a previous job. But this ability to get out of a tight spot hasn’t prevented the Fiji Airways chief from being dragged into the middle of a political firefight in Fiji and for another perceived conflict of interest.
At the directive of the AG, the Fiji Development Bank lent Fiji Airways more than $70-million with a government guarantee to help keep it afloat. But then he appointed Viljoen – the CEO of Fiji Airways – as chair of the board of the FDB – a breathtaking move in that the conflict of interest is again so obvious. As Savenaca Narube observed: “The government is caught in its own dangerous web of being the majority shareholder of both entities, a financier to one and guarantor to the other. This incestuous relationship heavily compromises the governance integrity of FDB and Fiji Airways”, he wrote.
The resulting taint drags Fiji Airways into controversy just when public and parliamentary support is essential to back the government’s effort to keep the national airline going. And it has not only damaged Andre Viljoen but also engulfed the reputation of the Chair of Fiji Airways, Rajesh Punja, the Director of the Punjas Group of companies.
Together, they are also responsible for what appears to be one of the most cynical exercises in the whole sorry saga of the Covid-19 fallout in Fiji and its impact on ordinary Fijian workers. According to insiders at Fiji Airways, the retrenchment of the entire 400-strong force of cabin attendants was driven less by financial considerations than a determination to end the perceived stranglehold of the Flight Attendants Union on the airline’s operations.
If this is true, 400 Fijians who were the face of the airline and its point of contact with Fiji Airways passengers have been forced onto the street during an economic crisis in a naked exercise in union busting. Recent advertisements recruiting new cabin staff certainly lend weight to this suggestion, otherwise those existing staff laid off would have first call on these positions. It doesn’t get much shabbier and because Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum controls Fiji Airways, he is more likely than not to be the hand behind this move – FijiFirst waging war on ordinary workers during the biggest economic downturn in the nation’s history.
Rajesh Punja – the head of one of the South Pacific’s largest privately-owned enterprises – is only one of a host of local business figures on the boards of public instrumentalities. Some of these have patent conflicts of interest in serving on the boards of government enterprises that buy their goods and services. And, of course, their willingness to serve on these boards inevitably puts them in good stead with the FijiFirst government and especially Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.
There’s generally an expectation that they will benefit from the government’s largesse and equally, when the call comes, apprehension about what might happen if they decline. The level of fear in the business community generally these days is intense, especially about the punitive nature of the taxman – the Fiji Revenue and Customs Services (FRCS) – along with the fear of coming to the attention of FICAC or the FCCC, the Fijian Competition Consumer Commission.
Next week, we turn the spotlight on some of these individuals and ask: Private interests, public responsibilities. Which comes first? And we also examine some of the senior civil servants who have been delegated to sit on government boards. These are invariably favourites of the AG, who do his bidding and are his eyes and ears around the table. But what qualifies these civil servants for their board positions? And what comes first? Public duty or pleasing “the boss”?
All this in Part Two of A Tangled Web of Secrets and Control. Next week.
In the meantime, you can browse through the names of board members at directory.digital.gov.fj Just follow the links to the various enterprises. (Grubsheet Feejee, 24 Septeber 2020)
HANDS OFF OUR USP Vice-Chancellor and President Pal Ahluwalia, says USPSA (the students) to Frank Bainimarama. In October, Thompson and Khan were going to be KICKED OUT of Council, so Khaiyum STEPS IN
Mahmood Khan claims he was appointed by Education Minister Rosy Akbar. If so, she should have prepared her REPORT for Bainimarama and suggested recommendations, and NOT this 'Kader Khan' BULLY BOY, the UNCLE of Mahmood Khan. We notice he is also a Board Member of PSC
A BITTER PILL FOR PUBLIC TO SWALLOW: Mahmood Khan says he was appointed to USP Council by Minister Akbar after he responded to press advertisement. Akbar appointed Fiji Sun's Jyoti Pratibha to FNU Council
We wonder if FFP Government and Fiji National University (owned by all Fijians) advertised for individuals to serve on FNU Council, and whether Pratibha and Aunty Nur Ali Bano, presently leading the Council, also APLLIED and were selected by Education Minister Akbar. As we reminded Electoral Commissioner Kavita Rangia it is perception of BIAS that matters - A BITTER PILL FOR THE FIJIAN PUBLIC TO SWALLOW. The Ranigas donated thousands of dollars to FFP, and so did Bano and her husband, and Fiji Sun's Donation: From WatchDog to LapDog
Fijileaks: The former CEO, Vodafone Fiji, ASLAM KHAN, is NOT on the FFP's Donor List. However, some of the Gujarati merchants portrayed in the cartoon, as individuals of those companies, and their families, along with other big Gujarati business house families donated nearly $3million between 2014 and 2019 to KEEP FijiFirst Party in POWER. Non-Gujaratis were mostly Indo-Fijian businessmen from Hindu, Muslim, Punjabi and South Indian families. Your ordinary Ram and Khan only voted for FFP after these big business families bankrolled FFP. They were too busy eating Macdonalds in 'Mr Macdonal's' outlets, unaware that part of their meagre purchases were going towards the funding of FFP. There ain't something called Free MacDonalds unless you have donated to FFP. We have forensically identified over 90 per cent of individual donors, their companies, etc, so bear with us, as we continue to reveal the donors
Fijileaks to Edwin Nand: Please, can we have your response to the 'Porn King' photo we sent to you. Its over six months. Take a lesson from Mahmood Khan in responding swiftly to questions when it comes to you. On the issue of BIAS, here is what we pointed out to KAVITA RANIGA:
Fijileaks Founding Editor-in-Chief: CRY MY BELOVED Fiji Sun:
IT IS NOT YOUR FATHER'S MONEY, USP Fijian students whose families have either voted for HIM or are keeping HIM in Power through their taxes should tell Khaiyum. NFP president condemns halt of Fiji grant to USP
SECRET FFP DONOR: During the 2014 election, the late Dixon Seeto, as Chairman of the Tertiary Scholarship and Loans Board, had terminated, on 21 MAY 2014, the iTaukei Board scholarship of USP student Tamanirarama J. Seruraduvatu after allegations were made that Seruraduvatu was campaiging for the independent candidate Roshika Deo. Now, from Aiyaz Khaiyum's FijiFirst Party list that he submitted to his nephew Mohammed Saneem, it has emerged that on 11 September 2014 Dixon Seeto went onto DONATE $3,000 to FFP. His co-Chinese community leaders (which we will reveal) donated over $50,000 to the FijiFirst Party. One of them went on to desecrate part of the popular Malolo Island without environmental permits. He carved a channel out of Malolo Island's reef, destroying fishing grounds, mangrove beds and damaging the foreshore. He had Khaiyum and Bainimarama in his pocket, for he had donated thousands of dollars for them to win election.
From Fijileaks Archives, 2014:
National Federation Party Statement on USP grant scandal:
Holding USP Grants is Gross Abuse of Power; Victimises Fiji’s Students
By holding the grants on the basis of allegations made by the Minister’s own relative placed on USP Council under his influence, is the worst case of abuse of power by Sayed-Khaiyum.
The law of the land is clear: USP is a legal entity founded by a number of Pacific Island Countries which by law are obliged to fund the University on pre-agreed basis. The University’s financial accounts are audited by credible accounting firms registered to practice in Fiji. Audited accounts for 2019 are unqualified. There, thus, is no basis for the Government to withhold any fund.
If the Government is unhappy with the way its grants are used, then it has recourse to the provisions of the Finance Management Act, under which it can itself audit the funds it has contributed. Without this, holding any grant, is bordering on the illegal and absolute bad faith.
It is widely known that USP has been mired in corrupt practices, which were the subject of a report by a New Zealand based accounting firm, the BDO New Zealand. This accounting firm confirmed massive instances of abuse of funds uncovered by the present Vice Chancellor. The Fiji Government has demanded that this report not be made public.
This is unbecoming of any Government which stands for transparency and good governance. We demand that this report be made public. Public funds are used at USP. The public has a right to read the report by the accounting firm.
By holding the grants, the FFP Government has sent a clear message to Fiji’s students and parents: that the FFP Government does not care for the education of students.
It has sent a clear message that it will not support the education of Fiji’s students unless corruption is allowed to flourish at the University and the regime’s favoured people are allowed to make undue gains from University education. Parents and students are treated with utter contempt by this government.
It is known that in the past, the same FFP Government had threatened USP with not paying its grant unless it fired renown academic Professor Wadan Narsey.
It is also well known that in the past the same Government effectively fired the Vice Chancellor of FNU when he did not cower to the whims of a few Ministers who wanted to control the FNU and usher-in corrupt practices there.
It is widely known now that the FNU’s Labasa campus works, which were tendered out for $28m, haven’t been completed and is unlikely to be completed in anything less than $32m.
We ask – is it true that under the reign of the then VC, the same scope of works which were contracted out for $28m were estimated to cost less than $10m?
The same FFP government has also effectively fired 2 Vice Chancellors at the University of Fiji, in one case by not extending the workpermit, and in another by withdrawing the workpermit on clearly illegal grounds.
Now the Fiji First regime wants the USP Vice Chancellor to be fired.
The Fiji First Government is known to be threatened by academic freedom. It is now known to be threatened by Fiji’s students and academics, who are now exposing the corrupt practices under the regime. It is time for Fiji’s students, academics and parents to demand that Fiji First stop playing with academic freedom, and the future of Fiji’s children.
We demand that taxpayers money not be withheld by the Minister for Economy from USP. We demand that the funds be immediately released. We demand that the Fiji First government allow USP to be governed by the USP Council as established by law.
We demand that Fiji First Government stop playing with the future of Fiji’s students.
Authorised by: -
USPGATE, FIJI SUN, AUNTY, UNCLE AND AIYAZ KHAIYUM: Here we go again - FFP FRAUDSTER who stole party name, LIED on US Visa Form, on his Asset Declaration, and Donor Lists - asking USP to account to him
MUSICAL CHAIRS: He put his Uncle Mahmood Khan as Fiji's representative to USP Council (who made complaint against Professor Pal Ahluwalia) and his Aunty Nur Bano Ali was moved from USP Council to become Acting Deputy Chancellor at Fiji National University, and Fiji Sun's Managing News Editor Jyoti Pratibha, he appointed to Aunty's FNU Council. We may recall that we called on Pratibha to step down in the interest of journalism but she is still up there, and now The Fiji Sun, on his 55th birthday (24 September) reported: 'In a letter obtained by the Fiji Sun, Government has raised concerns about the lack of investigation into the serious allegations that have been identified by the Pro-Chancellor (Winston Thompson) and Chair (Mahmood Khan) of the Audit and Risk Committee(ARC)."
The two have lost and now heads were out to roll, so steps in the Narcissistic BULLY BOY to stop the Fiji Government grant. It is most likely he has no money in the coffers to pay up, so making excuses. The Fijian students should simply RISE UP and overthrow this DICTATOR before he causes irreparable damage to their lives - he has already inflicted enough suffering on their families through corruption and croynism. His Aunty Nur Bano Ali donated to FijiFirst Party. He keeps on handing out Government contracts to her company despite Auditor-General's reports and Fiji Court of Appeal ruling in Rewa Dairy case.
Instead of doing the dirty work on behalf of his UNCLE, he should hand himself to Fiji Police and the Military who want to interview him over the 1987 'dirty' bombs which he is alleged to have exploded in Fiji, and RESIGN from Government as recommended by the Military Council
Result of the match so far and consequences of trend.
8 June 2020: Suspension by Executive Committee of Council based on ARC Chair’s allegations of 1 June 2020 (Round 1, PC WT)
19 June 2020: Reinstated by Council (Round 2 VCP) 10 working days wait.
1 September 2020, SpC3/20/2.1: Confidential Special Executive Committee ‘Report’ on ARC Chair’s 33 Allegations of 1 June. Recommendation: 9 allegations deemed immaterial. 10 relate to internal processes and require channeling to relevant standing processes. 14 to be handled by an external and independent process, because they involved issues likely to be contested, raise potential conflict of interest, highlight ‘factional’ views or alternatively involve financial matters.
4 September, 2020: Council terminated investigation against the VCP (Round 3 VCP) on the basis that ‘… there being no allegations sic) where the consensus or clear majority view were deemed material’.
Late September: A minimum of 10 members asked for a Special Council reconvened. Most likely agenda items: Motions of no confidence in PC and ARC Chair, and election of new DPC. (Round 4, 5 and 6). PC, DPC, ARC).
Rounds 4. 3 or 4 Oct. Special council on the above motions.
Rounds 1 – PC Rounds, 2 and 3 VC. Rounds 4 is about rolling of heads.
Hence the latest letter to terminate funding.
BIRTHDAY BLUES: FFP DONORS $7,698,021.24 MONSTER GIFT TO FIJI. Mr '24 CENTS' Who Rose to Become Millionaire Narcissistic BULLY in Bainimarama's regime celebrates 55th BIRTHDAY TODAY: 24 September
DANCING to his Uncle's Tune: Now, he has stopped, with immediate effect, Fiji Government's Grant Contribution to USP, informing Professor Pal Ahluwalia and Winston Thompson in a letter dated 22 September: “We note that notwithstanding the USP Council appointed special executive committee stating that at least 14 of the 33 allegations by the Chair ARC required independent investigation, the Council ignored this recommendation. Given the above, please be notified that until such time a thorough and independent investigation into all the allegations by the Pro-Chancellor and Chair ARC are carried out to our satisfaction, the Fijian Government will, with immediate effect, cease its grant contribution to USP.”
Fijileaks: Mahmood Khan's wife is his mother's sister, and so is Nur Bano Ali
Donations by the Directors and Owners of Big business houses, construction companies, bus companies, etc, etc, including private individuals from 2014 to 2019 has kept this BULLY Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum in POWER, and who has gone on to PERSECUTE FIJIANS OF ALL RACES. The donations were made by company owners, families, and even staff because the farcical Donation Decree forbids companies and corporate entities to make donations to politcal parties but not their owners, shareholders, directors and staff. We will keep naming the donors in coming days, including "Doyleen" - a staffer - who we suspect was coerced into donating, or was unaware that a huge sum was donated on her behalf, by one of the donor companies. She has blocked us after we asked her about the donation to FijiFirst Party
As Khaiyum celebrates his 55th birthday today, with his 'CRYING BABY' Bainimarama the first one to suck up to him, scores of hard-working civil servants, of all races who have turned 55 with him, will be leaving their jobs because under Bainimarama-Khaiyum Retirement Decree, they must go at 55, plant cassava, and drink homebrew, a month before Fiji celebrates (WEEPS) her 50th Independence Anniversay from Great Britain. From Mahendra Chaudhry to Graham Davis, they have learnt their lessons the hard way. The only person who is still suckling him is Bainimarama, for as we have seen from the headline, he needs
'Birthday Boy' to get him MONEY from Big Business to stay in POWER
ISA, WAKE UP FIJI
The Fijian Military sold its soul for a few rounds of bullets from Khaiyum
COMING SOON ON OUR Fijileaks BIG SCREEN:
DAMODAR CINEMAS DONORS AND FIJIFIRST PARTY'S 'KADER KHAN'