Namosimalua takes stand in Prakash case

September 27, 2022 12:20 pm

The former acting Secretary-General to Parliament today informed the Anti-Corruption Division High Court that she had written a letter to the Members of Parliament outlining the conditions of the allowances that they are entitled to.

Viniana Namosimalua said MP’s that claimed for subsistence allowances were required to sign the parliamentary declaration form.

The former acting S-G highlighted this in her evidence during the trial of former FijiFirst MP Vijendra Prakash.

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She said the MP’s could obtain the allowances once they sign the declaration form.

Namosimalua adds she does not investigate how MP’s fill out the form but the declaration form required MP’s to state their permanent residence and other personal details.

The Fiji Independent Commission against Corruption witness said in a letter addressed to all MP’s, she had explained the provisions of the Parliamentary Remuneration Act.

Namosimalua said Prakash was a backbencher in Parliament and his salary entitlement was $50,000 and this was different from the salaries that Ministers and Assistant Ministers receive.

She also said that apart from their salaries, MP’s that qualified for subsistence allowances received $350 as accommodation allowance and $30 per meal.

In addition, traveling allowance depended on the distance and the type of vehicles which MP’s drove.

For committee meetings, she said MP’s received $200 in allowance per day.

Prakash is standing trial for allegedly giving false information about his residence to the Secretary-General of Parliament while claiming parliamentary allowances.

He is alleged to have falsely stated that his permanent place of residence was in Waidracia, Vunidawa, Nabuni, Naluwai, Naitasiri, and allegedly obtained $33,670 between August 2019 and March 2020.

The trial continues at the Anti-Corruption High Court in Suva.