The Fiji Labour Party wants a full public inquiry into a scandalous $360,000 payout last week by the Fiji Development Bank to its ousted chief executive Isoa Kaloumaira.
The money was paid to Mr Kaloumaira following an out of court settlement over his sacking by the FDB two months ago.
Labour leader Mahendra Chaudhry has denounced the transaction as criminal abuse of taxpayers’ money.
“We want a full inquiry into the whole scandalous circumstances surrounding the sacking of Mr Kaloumaira and the sudden resignation of former board chairman Navitalai Naisoro.
“The FDB Board and its former chairman made be held accountable for this gross abuse of taxpayers money,” he said.
The inquiry must also include the $10 million loan application for the Hilton Hotel project at Denarau – what kind of pressure was put on the board to approve the loan and all those who would have benefited if the loan had gone through?
Mr Chaudhry asked why the matter was not allowed to go to court if the FDB and its board were justified in sacking Mr Kaloumaira – $360,000 is a massive payout by any account. Why was an out of court settlement necessary?
The SDL government has been characterised by a deplorable absence of transparency and accountability in the handling of taxpayers’ money since taking office. The FDB is but the latest in a whole series of scams that have hit the AFL, FEA, PWD, Agriculture ministry and several other government ministries since 2001, as a result of financial mismanagement and outright corruption.
The taxpayer cannot go on suffering under such irresponsible and insensitive attitude of the SDL to the public purse, said Mr Chaudhry.