FICAC to stamp out corruption? What a Joke!

  • 13th February 2020
  • 2020
  • // Display comment count + link

FICAC has refused to investigate the Khaiyum/Nur Bano link in the Rewa Dairy consultancy contract scandal but speaks now of its “mammoth vision to ensure the people of Fiji live a life free of corruption”.

What gross hypocrisy, says the Fiji Labour Party! Who is FICAC trying to fool?

To realize this “mammoth vision” it will be shortly launching what it calls “a national anti-corruption strategy document”: FICAC’s Amit Sami told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Public Accounts. Sami is FICAC’s principal corruption prevention officer West/North.

Minister Bishop with Dr Nur Bano Ali at an afternoon tea with members of the Fiji Australia Business Council (FABC), hosted at the Australian High Commissioner’s residence in Suva on Saturday 15 February. Dr Ali, an FABC member, also heads the Fiji Women

#We #say: What is urgently needed to curb the rising incidence of corruption in Fiji, is legislation on Code of Conduct and Freedom of Information laws – requirements under the imposed 2013 Constitution; along with the establishment of an Accountability and Transparency Commission, another constitutional requirement.

These are vital measures if Fiji wants to fight corruption, ensure good governance and keep a tab on corrupt practices in high office. The FF government has failed in 7 years to comply with these constitutional provisions.Deliberately, it seems, as such laws will empower the people to hold government accountable.

We doubt the value of yet another “strategy document” that will collect dust on the shelves, or may, in fact, be applied selectively to target the public and hold everyone else but the government accountable.

If FICAC wants to be taken seriously, it must first rescind its decision not to investigate the Rewa Dairy scam.

Tenders were not called so there is no question about it being awarded to Nur Bano. Simply put, the job was contracted to Nur Bano on instructions, apparently, from Khaiyum. Ministry officials questioned the decision pointing out that it was contrary to financial regulations, but were overruled.

The minister, it appears, even approved that VAT of $62,000 due on the transaction, be paid by the government.

It seems that there may have been a ‘kick- back’ payment here and that should be investigated. If there was such a payment, then who may have benefitted from it?

This scam is, intrinsically, connected with the secret salary payments to Bainimarama and Khaiyum by Nur Bano’s firm, again in gross violation of financial regulations.

Large sums of money were remitted from the PM’s office to Nur Bano’s accounting firm between 2010-2013 to meet these secret salary payments. These monies, believed to run into millions of dollars have not been accounted for despite repeated calls by the Auditor General, the Finance Ministry and the Public Accounts Committee. The PM’s office has persistently refused to disclose the relevant acquittals.

What else but #corruption, can be deduced from such refusal to account for public moneys? How much was Nur Bano’s firm paid for this secret assignment? How was this money shared and who were the ultimate beneficiaries?

The nation is entitled to these answers. Those responsible for these scams must be made to answer these questions. We urge the opposition parties in parliament to use the floor of the House to force the culprits to provide the answers.