Double Dipping, You Just Can't Win, Qarase Court Update

DOUBLE DIPPING ACCUSATION. Some of the anti-government blogs are circulating the rumour started, I think,  by Pacific Journalist Michael Field on his blogsite that the PM and A-G are receiving exorbitant salaries. My guess is that Field has used simple arithmetic to add the salaries of several of their respective ministerial portfolios.

Thus, Cde Bainimarama is the Prime Minister, the Minister for Public Service, People's Charter for Change; Minister for Information and Archives, Minister for Finance and National Planning and Sugar, Minister for Provincial Development, Indigenous and Multi-Ethnic Affairs.

And Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is the Attorney-General, Minister for Justice, Electoral Reform, Public Enterprises and Anti-Corruption, Industry, Tourism, Trade and Communication.

The rumour is totally untrue. They receive salary for only their more substantive position.  Field and the rumour-mongers may, however, care to note that Cabinet now comprises 11 members compared with 36 in the Qarase Government. They do not ask or reveal what their combined salaries were.

YOU JUST CAN'T WIN. If you check out recent comments to postings, you'll see there's been a persistent demand to "see" the Roadmap and an equally persistent refusal to accept its existence despite all evidence to the contrary. Though where, other than from the Roadmap and the Charter, do these people think Government is planning its reforms on land, housing, health, roads and all its other projects?

My postings that attempted to explain the relationship between the People's Charter, the Roadmap, the Strategic Framework for Change had readers saying "Forget the Charter and the Roadmap. What we  want to see is action."

I suspect some such comments are merely anti-government protestations. The blog has been full of them lately. Whatever Government does or does not do, it will be wrong.  Invariably this line of questioning goes back to the redundant argument, "It's an illegal government that overthrew a democratically elected government at the point of the gun."  Their only way of going forward is to go backwards.

But many readers genuinely want to see these unpublished documents, and some of them still seem to think the Roadmap is only about the constitution and elections.

For those with open minds, the Roadmap is not simply about constitutional and electoral reform. These will come later, in 2012 and 2013 prior to the election in September 2014. For the moment Government's focus is on physical infrastructure and services and on institutional and governance reforms. The Public Service reforms are an example of the latter.

The triangle diagram in the previous post shows the route from Charter to actions and project implementation.

Using the diagram and the example of the new health centre in Bureta, Ovalau,  reported in the same posting, we can trace its origin from Charter Pillar 11 (improved health services for all) to the pinpointing of remote rural areas (Roadmap); to rural health clinics (Strategic Framework for Change and the Health Ministry Corporate Plan 2009-11); to the financing of the building, equipment and staffing of the Bureta clinic (Health Ministery Annual Corporate Plan). The Clinic is now open and its progress no longer needs monitoring by the Strategic Framework for Change Operating Committee.

The Clinic is a product of each of these planning stages that originated in Pillar 11 of the Charter. People in the seven villages serviced no longer need to travel half way round Ovalau for basic medical care or emergencies. They don't yet have a Constitution and there's no election for a while, but they do have a very tangible clinic. Other examples are occurring all around the country. Multiplied, they are bringing about significant change.

QARASE COURT CASE UPDATE. The Suva High Court is expected to deliver its ruling next month on an application to consolidate the cases of former PM Laisenia Qarase and Sitiveni Weleilakeba. The application was made by FICAC Prosecutor Madhawa Tennakoon yesterday morning on the grounds that the two cases are linked.

It is alleged that Qarase whilst being the Managing Director of the Fiji Development Bank in 1991 - 1992 and at the same time a board member of Fiji Holdings Ltd, advisor to the Fijian Affairs Board and advisor to the Great Council of Chiefs, abused his office by increasing the annual dividend on Class A shares (of which his family held a significant number) to 20% . Weleilakaba is alleged to have given false information to the Registrar of Companies causing the declaration of Fijian Holdings Limited as a Public Company.


one step up said…
Thanks for the roundup of the Roadmap and you are absolutely correct. Every day in Fiji we see changes happening and progress being made. I suspect that most of the comments on this site come from Australia or New Zealand, those that are not in Fiji and cant see the changes. In Suva currently the place is buzzing, road works are being done, sidewalks upgraded, roads markings painted, preparations for the Hibiscus Festival underway, the old Olympic pool has reopened, and that’s just suva!
1. So lets look at the good news just for today. Finally after years the Rewa river is being dredged, land reclaimed so people in that area can farm. This project is very beneficial to the people of the delta. Flooding is a big problem because eighty percent of Rewa is watershed areas so there is only twenty percent of dry land. This initiative will create more dry land for the people to farm and other economic activities which is being spearheaded by the current Government. The contract will cost Government $8.9 million and is expected to complete by next year.
2. Since the declaration of Rakiraki as a Town and also as Crime Free in July, there has been a decrease in the crime rate of 50% from July last year same period this year.
more to come......
one step up said…

3. The Government of Fiji has been in continuous dialogue with the Kingdom of Tonga regarding our boundary to the east and will begin negotiation with Tuvalu and Vanuatu over our other remaining boundaries. It is in Fiji’s interest that all its maritime boundaries are determined and mutually agreed through dialogue and negotiations. This is also in line with one of the key pillars for rebuilding Fiji in this period of political transition, which is ‘Enhancing Global Integration and International Relations’.
4. Cabinet has approved the development of a Decree to control the sale of, or supply of, legal but dangerous substances, over shop counters. This decree in particular looks at illegal abuse of substances by school children. The lack of a law and concerns about the detrimental effects on the health of young people has been raised by school administrators, parents, the media, the members of the National Substance Abuse Advisory Council (NSAAC) Council, various stakeholders during consultation meetings and the general public in the past two years.
These are a small example of things that have happened today.
Radiolucas said…
RE: The triangle diagram.

Looking at how long the regime says it all takes, the convoluted nature of what they propose (does anyone really believe that they have any meaningful plan?) and the complete lack of any progress just makes me feel ill - filled with a sense of deja vu and foreboding.

I have the deep seated fear that all of this is merely another redirection - a sleight of hand meant solely to silence the detractors and give the military just cause to crack down on dissent until 2014 - by which time they hope people will forget that it is a military regime.
Invictus said…
Radio Luka.

Are you not sick of speaking throught your fundament.

Most of what you and your ilks has to say is ad nauseam.

Get on with the programme boy.

Advance Fiji.
Anonymous said…
Bring on the consolidated Case: Qarase/Weleilakeba saspo. Perhaps this will give the Radiolucas ditherers an understanding of how seriously they and others like them were led astray by the contortions and machiavellian strategies of all associated in gross dishonesty and diversion of public money destined for the development of this country. They managed this over a period of more than ten years: what does this say about the rest of us?
Cynics corner said…
Croz, it would be a lot easier to accept your contention that the road map is genuine if the regime had kept some of its other promises. Foremost of these is its promise to lift the emergency regulations when the Media Decree was promulgated. It hasn't happened despite successive previous undertakings from the PM down. Is it any wonder, then, that so many people think the road map might look good on paper but doubt the regime's commitment to stick to the script? The regime's true believers pour scorn on anyone who shows any skepticism at all about its true intentions. But I think we're fully entitled to stick to the old adage about actions speaking louder than words. By not lifting the PER - as it promised -it's the regime that's fueling cynicism in Fiji, not its critics.
sara'ssista said…
The very idea that without ANY srcutiny we just accept that progress is being made because we see workman digging holes and painting fences is clearly a joke. The structural changes that need making, yes i accept some need to be made , CANNOT be made by a military authority and the public just expected to accept them. They will take no ownership of these changes and the idea that there is any kind of mandate is deceitful. The fact is without ANY sort of independant oversight or scrutiny I would not believe, whatever their so-called honest motives are, that even the sun was going to rise tomorrow if this regime mad a deree to the effect. It is their credibility issue , not mine.
Joe said…
We all agree that developments are going on, but Qarase did the same, in the right places to suit himself though, but at snails pace. For that matter, anyone in power can do that if they chose to. The problem is lies and broken promises. What happened to the statement: "No militiray men will benefit from this takeover". Why is the PER still in force? Why was Hunter deported and MC is charged on the exact same revelations by Hunter? Why was Richard Naidu detained, and where is Teleni these days? Why wasn't the Indian High Commissioner sent packing for being an accessory in the MC money laundering scheme? There are too many more such scenarios to mention. Makes me wonder whether elections will ever take place or will it be another broken promise.
. said…
@ Joe ... We all share your concerns. Nothing in the future is certain. But we need to do more than moan about past wrongs. I suggest we mix praise with criticism; keep pressing Government to pursue its Roadmap as fast as possible; to engage more civilians; to have earlier, more open and inclusive dialogue. And keep pressing overseas governments to assist. What they are doing at the moment is not working and not assisting.

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