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Analysis: Nawaikula’s Rant On Water Authority A Load Of Hogwash

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Analysis: Nawaikula’s Rant On Water Authority A Load Of Hogwash

SODELPA Member of Parlia­ment and lawyer Niko Nawai­kula is desperately clutching at straws when he wrote a lengthy opinion piece on his Facebook page in his attempt to discredit an audit report which highlighted massive abuse within the Water Authority of Fiji.

In his desperation, he tried to dis­credit this newspaper as well for highlighting the abuse by saying we were putting the blame on the sup­pliers.

And he wants the WAF Board, the Prime Minister and the line Min­ister to resign. What a load of hog­wash!

The Board chaired by Bhavesh Pa­tel commissioned KPMG to do an audit of WAF.

The Board had received com­plaints and they wanted an inde­pendent firm to get to the root of the issues.

Mr Nawaikula has conveniently forgotten to mention the chief ex­ecutive officer under whose watch this massive abuse happened.

His Facebook rant was no doubt an attempt to save a future SODELPA candidate, if word coming out from within SODELPA is to be believed.

Now, consider this scenario – if a similar abuse was found in the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation – Mr Nai­waikula would have been one of the first to call for the CEO to resign.

His desperate attempt to put a spin on the independent audit report is sad.

Instead, he should have asked whether the Fiji Independent Com­mission Against Corruption (FI­CAC) had launched any investiga­tion into what the KPMG report highlighted.

Instead, he should have questioned whether those employees impli­cated in the report have been stood down pending investigations.

But no. He is not asking these ques­tions because once charges are laid, questions will no doubt be asked about how the former CEO let this happen under his watch.

It is plain stupid for Mr Nawaikula to call for the Prime Minister and the line Minister to resign. They are not responsible for the day-to-day running of every Government statutory body. That is why we have CEOs appointed.

If anything, this Board needs to be commended for getting such an audit done.

It is a fact that some WAF staff es­pecially in the procurement depart­ment have benefitted from some un­derhanded dealings. No matter how much Mr Nawaikula hopes to spin the truth, it is out there for every­one to see.

The ball is now in FICAC’s court to see where their investigations take them.

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