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COVID-19 Response Budget: Nawaikula’s Rants On Virus Labelled As ‘Despicable’

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete labelled SODELPA Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula’s rants regarding the COVID-19 response as “despicable”.
27 Mar 2020 09:40
COVID-19 Response Budget: Nawaikula’s Rants On Virus Labelled As ‘Despicable’
Opposition members of Parliament Niko Nawaikula during COVID 19 Respond Budget outside Parliament on March 26, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete labelled SODELPA Member of Parliament Niko Nawaikula’s rants regarding the COVID-19 response as “despicable”.

It started with National Federation Party leader Pio Tikoduadua, who returned to the House after serving a six-month suspension.

Mr Tikoduadua showed his discontent with the seating as the Leader of Government in Parliament, Inia Seruiratu, moved to suspend standing orders.

Mr Tikoduadua called this move as blatant disregard for the law.

This was followed by Mr Nawaikula, who seemed to be oblivious of the fact that the economic situation currently faced by the nation, was a result of global factors.

His rant was more like a conspiracy theory that the supplementary budget was being tabled because Government had no money. While nations were pumping billions of dollars as economic stimuli, Mr Nawaikula’s one track mind was focused on blaming Government.

Dr Waqainabete labelled Mr Nawaikula’s take on the situation as shameful.

“The sons and daughters of Fiji are working very hard to fight COVID-19,” said Dr Waqainabete.

“No one had predicted before 2020 that COVID-19. If we knew we would have set aside appropriations for that, nobody knew.

“It started in November 2019, it went all over the world and every economy is struggling.

“The Ministry of Health needs the funds to do its work. That is why we ask we expedite the budget and here we have the other side trying to delay this.

“We have people in the lockdown areas who are not going to work and we need medical supplies that need to be carried through.”

Dr Waqainabete said while people needed help, the Opposition were playing delaying tactics and stopping the much-needed help to get to the people.

Edited by Ivamere Nataro

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