Politics

Rabuka’s Car Query- ‘Clear’ Or ‘Not Clear’?

Speaker Ratu Epeli Nailatikau emphasises that instructions on use of official Govt vehicle allocated were ‘clear’, while Rabuka claims intructions were ‘not clear’
28 Oct 2020 10:05
Rabuka’s Car Query- ‘Clear’ Or ‘Not Clear’?
Leader of the Opposition Sitiveni Rabuka outside the Government Building in Suva on July 1, 2020. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Leader of the Opposition, Sitiveni Rabuka, has returned his official vehicle after claiming that instructions on how and where the vehicle could be used were not clear.

However, Speaker to Parliament Ratu Epeli Nailatikau, has rubbished the claims.

The white Toyota Landcruiser Prado, registration GQ530, was returned with the driver.

Mr Rabuka said clarification was sought from the Speaker on the usage of the vehicle.

“I have returned it with the driver because the instructions were not very clear. It was very restrictive on the use of the vehicle,” he said.

“The instructions did not make it clear what was duty and what was not duty. Because I am a constitutional office holder, I am entitled to a vehicle and driver. The instructions limited the use of the vehicle to parliamentary use and nothing else.

“I sought clarification and the clarification came, which was not very clear to me. Rather than inadvertently abuse the privilege of the vehicle, I returned the vehicle.”

The instructions were given to Mr Rabuka through a letter from the Speaker.

Mr Rabuka said after this he instructed his office to return the vehicle and retire the driver to the pool of drivers of government vehicles.

Ratu Epeli said the instructions to Rabuka were “very clear”.

“I do not divulge information to anyone else, it goes to him and he has got the instructions, which are very clear,” the Speaker said.

It is believed Mr Rabuka was asked to explain the sudden high fuel bill for the vehicle by Parliament. It is understood that for one month the bill was more than $1600. However, no confirmation on this was forthcoming from the Secretary-General to Parliament, Viniana Namosimalua, who referred all queries to the Speaker.

Mr Rabuka has however denied that it had anything to do with the use of fuel.

“I do not know. I do not take the vehicle to the bowser for fuelling. Government pays for the fuel,” he said.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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