Budget 2022-23

Opposition do worse than tolerate corruption, statement not fair says Gavoka

July 16, 2022 11:15 am

SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka last night before the budget announcement.

Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum took time to condemn corruption while announcing the 2022-2023 National Budget last night.

While addressing parliament, Sayed-Khaiyum says those who crow about Fiji becoming a more corrupt country under the leadership of the current government are the most corrupt of all.

He says there exists a culture that prioritises certain personalities over the rule of law.

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The Minister condemn the Opposition for praising the acts of two former Social Democratic Liberal Party MPs who have just been convicted by the court.

“Two opposition parliamentarians were recently convicted of Obtaining Financial Advantage through fraudulent conduct. These people broke the law, and they were found guilty in a court of law. Did the opposition condemn their actions? No. They released statements praising them. That is the ugly face of a deep seated culture of corruption that remains in Fiji.”

Sayed-Khaiyum adds the opposition should have condemned the corruption if they cared about the law and Fiji’s democracy.

He adds no matter how serious the claim, or how provable the charges, Opposition do worse than tolerate corruption they make heroes out their worst offenders.

SODELPA Leader Viliame Gavoka says it is not fair for the Minister for Economy to say what he stated in parliament about the parliamentarians.

Gavoka says proper guidance could have been provided for the parliamentarians.

“We are very vulnerable parliamentarians, everything that we do we need to have some backups. We need to have some integrity commissioners to help us do some of these things.”

Meanwhile, Sayed-Khaiyum says Fiji today is one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

He adds government is stepping up to fund the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption to maintain the clean economy.

The Minister for Economy says they have uprooted a culture of corruption that has improved the society since independence.

He adds the FICAC has already started the process of creating the necessary framework with the assistance of United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).