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Bainimarama Had No Part In 2000 Coup, Ex-Gunman Tells Crowd

Bainimarama Had No Part In 2000 Coup, Ex-Gunman Tells Crowd
May 19, 2000 coup frontman George Speight (wearing tie) with gunmen in the 2000 takeover. Photo: Fairfax NZ
November 09
13:18 2018

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama had no involvement whatsoever in the May 19, 2000 civilian coup led by George Speight.

This was confirmed yet again by Maciu Navakasuasua, who was one of the seven gunmen who stormed Parliament on May 19, 2000.

Mr Navakasuasua was among the crowd that gathered in Drauniivi in Ra during the FijiFirst campaign meeting on Wednesday night, where Mr Bainimarama had addressed them.

“It was not planned for me to speak, but after hearing the PM, I felt it was time for me to stand up and tell my people what really happened in 2000 and how I (along with other iTaukei) was used by these elite iTaukei, corrupt businessmen and failed politicians to fulfil their agenda,” he said.

Mr Nakasuasua said that attempts to link PM Bainimarama to the event of May 19, 2000 are false and come from people with agendas.

Mr Navakasuasua urged iTaukei people not to be used by these elite iTaukei and dirty politicians.

“They used me in 2000 with all their false promises, but when I was arrested and detained none of them came to help me or look after my family. I’ve served my time in jail and have learned my lesson.”   

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Maciu Navakasuasua.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with Maciu Navakasuasua.

He pointed out the plan for the 2000 coup was done by members of the Fijian Nationalist Vanua Tako Lavo party and they were backed by some soldiers from the Counter Revolutionary Warfare unit who had believed in their cause.

“I was present in all the meetings and the Prime Minister Bainimarama was not part of us at all. We even recruited George Speight on the day before the takeover, to be our frontman.”

Mr Navakasuasua also said that after the May 19, 2000 takeover, where they had held the Members of Parliament hostage, former Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka went to Parliament as a negotiator for the then-President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara.

He said they met at the SVT office in Parliament with Mr Rabuka, nationalist leader Iliesa Duvuloco, Viliame Savu, Speight and a few others.

“In the meeting Duvuloco asked Rabuka what he was there for and scolded him for not completing the work he had promised to do during the May 14, 1987 coup to protect and safeguard the aspirations of the iTaukei people. Duvuloco then chased Rabuka away from the room and we did not see him again.

“Ironically, he was the first person again to be at the military camp during the November 2, 2000 mutiny. To me that tells something.”

People that attended the campaign meeting were from Rabulu, Naseyani, Nananu, Drauniivi and the tikina of Nalawa.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce


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