National Federation Party - Fiji
We need a parliamentary inquiry into local government
August 30, 2021
Special Administrators dumped and micro-management by Minister entrenched
The National Federation Party will move a motion in the next Parliamentary sitting in September for a parliamentary inquiry into the conduct and operations of local government following widespread reports and allegations of nepotism, cronyism and mismanagement.
NFP President Pio Tikoduadua said following the parliamentary inquiry and the tabling of the findings in Parliament in November, government must return power back to the people in the municipalities by facilitating local government elections in the 13 municipalities.
“It is abundantly clear that operations of town and city councils have been micro-managed by the Local Government Ministers in office since the dissolution of the Councils in 2009 under the pretext of corruption”.
“The tragedy is that the very reason used to usurp democracy in local government, just as it was used for toppling a democratically elected government in December 2006, has itself infested local government like cancer”.
“The disrespectful manner in which the Minister ended the terms of the Special Administrators upon expiration of their terms raises more critical questions about the Minister’s motive”.
“What will she do next? The Minister is now clearly micro-managing the affairs of the Councils through the Ministry’s appointed Chief Executive Officers”.
“The reality of the matter is that the Minister’s arrogant and radical approach has dampened the spirit in local government. There are widespread allegations of her interfering in key appointments to ensure that her preferred choices get the job”.
“That is why only a parliamentary inquiry will put an end to all allegations and reports of nepotism and cronyism”.
“The inquiry has to be swift and decisive and ensure that the findings are adopted to rinse all dirt and mismanagement plaguing the municipalities”.
“And early next year, local government elections must be held to give power back to the ratepayers and citizens to ensure that their representatives in the Councils work for them and not the Minister or Government”.