Navosavakadua's Political Reconstructive Surgery

All the same, and anti-Bainimarama cartoon,
 GOOD  STORY, POOR HISTORY. Blogger Navosavakadua writes opinion pieces in FijiToday. They are invariably persuasive and logical —if readers concede his initial premises and prejudices.

 In this week's posting on the immunity question he asks why Bainimarama wants immunity for people associated with the 1987 and 2000 coups. Why not limit immunity to the 2006 events?  The "reason", he tells us, is that Bainimarama knew about Speight's planned 2000 Coup but "did nothing to stop it. Instead, he "deliberately left the country, returning to try to take advantage of the chaos." Without immunity taking in the 2000 events other plotters might "reveal his secret role"  in the Speight coup. Further "evidence" of his involvement at that time is that the "troops involved in the siege of Parliament continued to be paid [and] no action was taken until he had deposed the President, the late Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara, while positioning himself to take power."  

I find it unsurprising, with primary concerns focussing on  the welfare of the kidnapped parliamentarians held by Speight, that someone forgot to tell the paymaster to cancel the rebel soldiers' pay.   But I am surprised, if Bainimarama was always bent on seizing power,  that he did not do so in 2000,  and then hold immediate elections.  He had much public support at that time and had a very good chance of winning elections. Instead, he handed the job to Qarase on the understanding that the position would be temporary.   Why, if power was his motive as Navosavakadua says, did he throw this golden opportunity  in 2000? And why, a little later, did another group of rebel soldiers who favoured Speight, mutiny and try to kill Bainimarama?  Wasn't he supposed to be on the same side?

The "evidence" does not stop there.  Navosavakadua says, "What Bainimarama feared from the Promotion of Reconciliation, Tolerance and Unity Bill [of the Qarase government] was the exposure of his role in the Speight coup, not the prospect that the guilty would escape judgement." 

He offers no evidence, and makes no mention of two other bills, also opposed by Bainimarama, that had nothing to do with immunity or escaping justice but a lot to do with opposing more privileges for  the iTaukei elite, a theme Bainimarama has considently followed to this day.  Witness, the People's Charter, the stress on equal citizenship, on  all citizens being Fijian, and the land rents bypassing chiefs to be paid directly to the mataqali owners.  On must also ask why, had Bainimarams merely wanted power, he bothered with a Charter and common citizenship that put him on a collision course with the powerful  Great Council of Chiefs, ultra-nationalist iTaukei and the Methodist Church. Why did he not turn to them for support in 2000 when he was supposedly part of the Speight coup?

Ratu Inoke

Further "evidence", according to Navosavakadua, is Bainimarama's subequent appointment of people suspected of supporting the Speight coup such as  Jim Ah Koy and Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.  I do not know if there's any truth in these claims but Navosvakudua —and others who have repeatedly spread these accusations—  have offered absolutely no evidence in their support. Surely there's been time to find some. 


Jim Ah Koy

What I do know is that it makes perfect sense to make Jim Ah Koy ambassador to China, and Ratu Inoke was an opponent of Qarase's SDL party. But even if the claims are true, I cannot see how they support Navosavakadua's claim on Bainimarama's longstanding ambition, or how their appointment helps cover up Bainimarama's suposed role in the Speight Coup.  

In a final effort to provide "evidence" Navosavakadua reveals a supposed mystery.  He writes: One of the great mysteries of the Bainimarama dictatorship is how he has managed to keep the military behind him. He has no military credentials [sic!] and his continued rule threatens to ruin the RFMF as an institution."

The puppet and puppeteer hoax
The answer to the mystery? "The only possible explanation," says Navosavakadua, "is his talent for involving others in his crimes. He made sure that none of his senior officers could avoid having their finger-prints on the crimes of the RFMF in 2000 or 2006. Roko Ului’s muted comments about 2000 and 2006 can be traced to the way Bainimarama made sure that as many as possible of his officers were compromised in one way or another."  

Is Navosavakadua suggesting Bainimarama pushed Roko Ului into beating up women at the Barracks, which Roko Ului denies?  Come off it, Navosavakadua.  You are pushing credibility too far. Roko Ului was the officer in charge and one of the women recognized his voice. 

In an earlier article Navosavakadua urged the Military Council to depose Bainimarama but he didn't then explain  how they could do so when, after all,  each one had his finger prints on these supposed crimes.   

An alternative explanation to Navosavakadua's "only possible explanation" is that Bainimarama removed his main opponent within the military, Col. Jone Baledrokadroka,  before the 2006 coup, and has since rewarded senior officers, not only with a new sense of purpose, but with promotions and new, challenging tasks in the civil administration.   

Navosavakadua portrays Bainimarama  as an incredible clever manipulator whose only motive is his hunger for power. This image does not fit well with people who have met Bainimarama.  Most thought him sincere and genuine. But if he is as clever and manipulate as Navosavakadua claims, why did he throw away power when it was all there for the taking in the immediate aftermath of the Speight Coup? Nor does it fit with the image portrayed by  most of the anti-blogs.  They have Bainimarama as an unintelligent half-wit  completely under the thumb of the Attorney-General? 

Even Picasso ...
Between them,  Navosavakadua and the anti-bloggers, have painted the picture of a man of contradictions. Someone who is at the same time  incredibly complex but simple, an intelligent half-wit, a manipulated manipulator, a cowardly brute who sets others on defenceless women and a warm family man, a man who for over a decade has sought power —and is now trying to give it up (while still holding on to it).  Even Picasso, for all his genius, would be struggling to paint such a man.

-- Crosbie Walsh


Anonymous said…
Bottom line, the bati up at delainabua, that cost us $100 million a year,(inflation adjusted)have over the past 25 years, provided national leadership in person or by proxy (Mara & Qarase).

When are we going to come out of the shadow of pre 1874.

The promise is, in 2014?

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