Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The Real Survivor Fiji - Legitimate Corruption vs. Illegal Government

Interim talk...Mahendra Patel, Kamlesh Arya & Interim Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama after the budget. Image Credit: Fiji Times

The Real Survivor Fiji - Legitimate Corruption vs. Illegal Government

As time carries on, questions about the legitimacy of a "takeover" Government to rule, as cream rises to the top of a container of milk, begin to come into focus.

A news item about reports that there have been over 400 complaints registered with a newly formed operating unit of the interim Government has one asking the obvious question, once the alleged corruption case has been investigated by a takeover government, which is more corrupt ... the reported corruption or the methods and legitimacy used by the investigating entity?

Two news items - first report from the Fiji Times -

400 corruption cases alleged
REIJELI KIKAU - Tuesday, March 27, 2007

THE interim government's new anti-corruption unit has been receiving complaints at the rate of more than 130 a month.

So far the unit, formed in early January, has 400 cases on its books.

Unit head, Senior Superintendent of Police Nasir Ali, said it was overwhelming to see common people coming up with reports of all sorts and all forms of corruption, some backed with documentation.

SP Ali said cases alleging corrupt practises of past governments were also included.

"These are complaints of corruption of all sorts, from the government to whatever you can name and imagine," he said.

SP Ali said the team of investigators, including police and military personnel and the Attorney-General's office, would work out a priority list of cases to be investigated.

"We have started on complaints that have been supported with documents because it was easier for us but the rest we have to investigate and substantiate the allegations," he said.

People making complaints had to make a statement or provide investigators with a letter or documents outlining the alleged corruption. "It becomes easier if evidence is provided,'' he said.

Yesterday 25 officers from the unit, including police, military officers and Attorney-General's office staff, completed a two-day training course on how to investigate corruption cases.

SP Ali said the officers started the training on Friday and for the first time this had involved staff from the Attorney-General's office.

He said there would be a series of similar seminars for other officers involved in the probes.

Reference Here>>

And this obvious reaction reported from Radio New Zealand International -

Fiji NGO says government anti-corruption unit has no legitimacy
Posted at 07:01 on 27 March, 2007 UTC

Fiji’s anti-corruption unit says it is working out priorities in dealing with the 400 complaints it already has on its books.

The interim Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khayum, says the response has been overwhelming.

But the whole basis of the unit is being questioned.

A spokesperson for the Fiji Women’s Rights Centre, Virisila Buadromo, says her organisation still believes the interim regime is illegal, therefore any body set up under this government also lacks legitimacy:

“The mechanisims created to set it up were illegal and the people don’t fully understand that and it seem like should the current regime be taken to court and then it found to be illegal or the coup that they put in place is illegal then all the institutions and decisions that they made then become null and void.”

Reference Here>>

In the meantime, SENIOR officials of the interim Government met with executives of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat yesterday to discuss the setting-up of a joint working committee to help Fiji back to democratic rule.

How well does one think this will go? What is the motivation of the current interim Government of Fiji to go back to democratic rule when there are so many cases of corruption to investigate?

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