NEWS

Kepa Tour Funding Questions Need Reply

Viniana Namosimalua needs to set the record straight today. The Secretary-General to Parliament must explain whether she authorised the funding that paid for Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa’s tour of
26 Oct 2015 09:44
Kepa Tour Funding Questions Need Reply
Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Viniana Namosimalua needs to set the record straight today.

The Secretary-General to Parliament must explain whether she authorised the funding that paid for Opposition Leader Ro Teimumu Kepa’s tour of the North last week.

Ro Teimumu has claimed it was paid for by Government.

That tour, which was hastily organised, has sparked a controversy within SODELPA and outside of the party.

At the party’s management board meeting in Suva last Friday, a member of the Vanua Levu delegation severely criticised Ro Teimumu.

The official said the way the tour was organised was unacceptable and it had demoralised party officials and members. Ro Teimumu and her group had placed civil servants who were SODELPA supporters in an awkward position because of the timing and method of the visit.

SODELPA had nothing to do with the tour, It was organised by the Opposition Office, said Pio Tabaiwalu, the party’s general secretary.

Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said it was not an official visit.

“It is a visit by SODELPA. It is not a visit sanctioned through a standing committee of Parliament. It is not a visit that the Parliament has voted and said the visit should take place.

“It is carried out by the Leader of the Opposition and whoever has gone with her has done it on their own volition. So no civil servant is obliged to cater for them, no civil servant should go and respond to their questions nor to give them an update on Government projects.

“Those responses, as we said in Parliament, can be sought through the relevant ministers if they want information. They need to follow the proper channel.

“In this instance if you want to want to ask questions, you got to do it through Parliament during question time, not to make some site visit that has not been sanctioned by Parliament.”

On the basis of what Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said, Ms Namosimalua cannot disburse funds unless authorised by Parliament.

If indeed what Ro Teimumu claims is true, then the question of accountability and transparency arises here. If funds were in fact given then Mrs Namosimalua would have to explain for what purpose they were used for.

She could not be reached to comment at the weekend, even after a reporter visited her home.

Feedback: nemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

 



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