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Row Erupts Over Police Cash Talks

Row Erupts Over Police Cash Talks
December 23
10:52 2014

A Police row has erupted over outstanding back pay talks.

Acting Commissioner of Police Isikeli Vuniwaqa says he does not recognise retired Inspector Tevita Ralulu who has been dealing with the Government on the issue.

ACP Vuniwaqa said: “I don’t know him and I do not want to answer to anything that he says. We only deal with issues that come through the Former Police Officers’ Association.

“We will be meeting with the association today to discuss issues. We do not listen to individuals and we do not deal with individual issues.”

Mr Ralulu said he was surprised by ACP Vuniwaqa’s comments.

He said: “I do not know why he is going to meet with the association when I have been fighting this issue on behalf of the members of the association.”

Under the Qarase SDL government, the disciplined forces were awarded back pay in 2004 after a job evaluation exercise.

The Military and Corrections got theirs. But Police officers received a part-payment.

Ten years later, the FijiFirst Government has stepped in and will pay the outstanding money under an allocation in the 2015 Budget. Mr Ralulu had originally written to the Government before the general election seeking help.

He said he had been working with ex-officers and families of those who had died because the association was “defunct and inactive.”

He said he had been trying to meet the Police hierarchy over the missing back pay money, but to no avail. He wanted to know what had happened to the money.

Association vice-president and former Police Commissioner Aisea Taoka said the association, established in 2009, was very much alive and active. Mr Taoka confirmed he had been informed by the association’s secretary Lupe Dalituicama that there would be a meeting with ACP Vuniwaqa today. But he did not know the agenda. The president, Ratu Meli Vakarewakobau, could not be reached to comment.

Meanwhile, Police chief administration officer Acting Assistant Police Commissioner Unaisi Vuniwaqa said the back pay money issue would be part of the discussion with the association today.

Public Accounts Committee chairperson Biman Prasad said he preferred to look at the issue more in depth before making any comment. The committee is expected to stick to its work plan of prioritising reports from 2006-2009 when they next meet in January next year. Any questions on the 2004 back pay to members of the Fiji Police may arise later in the year when the committee looks at reports from 2000-2010 before they submit it to Parliament for approval.

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj

 

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