Lockington's Everyday Fiji ... Life Goes On

Allen TanoaAllen Lockington is a self-employed customs agent and business consultant who has regular articles published in Fiji. I thank Allen for permission to reprint some of them in this political blog. They remind us that life goes on, whatever the political situation. And it's good to know that.


Water Ransom
Well here is an interesting twist to things. We read (FT 24/4) that the Water Authority of Fiji is investigating a water ransom allegation. Some residents of Nasau in Nadi allege that they are being held to ransom by WAF workers who have asked to be paid to turn on water. If investigations find this to be true and the men are charged, what fate awaits them? I ask this because there is a law that’s states that a person will be heavily fined or spend up to ten years in prison in found guilty of tampering with water meters. 
 
What penalty is there for the ransom holders?  In my opinion this is worse than someone tampering with water meters. This is fraud because they are asking for money for something that is not theirs. Reticulated water belongs to local councils and the Water Authority.
 
I await the outcome of the investigation. And I hope someone cops the heavy  fine or prison sentence.  An example needs to be made so that others will think twice about doing such things.

Comments

Islands in the Stream said…
Once again, Allen speaks sense. In the year 2002, a bribe was paid by me and more than just me, to PWD 'rogue employees' who infested the Vuda area turning off water meters at the roadside and demanding payment to have them reinstated. Highway Robbery - actually. But at that time, many of us were overwhelmed and 'put upon' by land disputes with menaces attached to them. threatening roadblocks and all kinds of ills associated with the Attempted coup d'etat of 2000. Paying a bribe of sixty dollars to have one's own water meter provide water seemed a necessity at the time. It has remained with one ever since: a demonstration of corruption by public officials paid to provide water to a civilian populace but bent instead on menacing and corrupt threats. Sixty dollars at that time was an entire week's wages for some? What term is good enough for these criminals masquerading as 'civil servants'?
Robin Hood said…
Croz:

Interesting that you should see this ingrained almost habitual offence as just fraudulent. Having experienced it in a climate of political instability in early 2002, we are more inclined to view it as a Crime against Humanity: nothing less. For this was and still is an act motivated not only by greed but by empowered servants and agents of the State, set free to impose upon those unable to defend themselves. Water is a necessity for life. To deprive anyone deliberately of a necessity for life is a Crime Against Humanity. It is also "politics by another means". The state is obliged to supply treated water to its civilian citizens and residents in a non-discriminatory way. The penalties now required for anyone caught under the Crimes Decree should be imposed at the maximum. Mothers of small babies,children, widows, the aged and the disabled may not defend themselves from such perpetrators. If they are "at it again", let the law takes its course and impose the maximum penalty. Now, where was the then Commissioner of Police in 2002? Why was he failing to respond to justified complaints so shortly after a general election in September 2001? That ill-fated and mishandled election? We must say now that are there some quarters still to be held answerable for the horrors visited upon ordinary Fijians at the hands of thuggish, marauding civil servants playing the "Power Game" selectively and with malice. Who orchestrated this use of bribery and corruption? For it is apparent that they are still around.
Croz Walsh said…
@ Robin Hood ... These are Allen's opinions, not mine or the Sheriff of Nottingham's.

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