Rabuka stands by his decision on Radrodro

January 21, 2024 5:02 pm

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka and dismissed Education Minister Aseri Radrodro

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka says the decision to terminate Education Minister Aseri Radrodro was not made lightly and was taken only after due process was followed.

Rabuka highlighted this in his address this afternoon while clarifying Radrodro’s dismissal.

Rabuka says Radrodro terminated the appointment of the chairperson and three members of the Fiji National University Council, in May last year.

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He says Radrodro was advised via a legal opinion by the Solicitor General that the decision was unlawful and must be withdrawn.

The PM says this is because members of the FNU Council can only be terminated in limited circumstances and with a two-thirds majority vote of the Council and only after the members have been provided an opportunity to be heard.

He says the Solicitor General also met with Radrodro and urged to comply with the legal advice that was given.

However, he says despite his very clear written directive and discussion initiated by the Deputy Prime Minister, Manoa Kamikamica Radrodro failed to comply with the legal advice from the Solicitor General’s office.

“On Friday, the 20th of January, 2024, I took the decision to dismiss the Honorable Radrodro from Cabinet with effect from Monday, the 22nd of January, 2024, for insubordination and disobedience to my directive. This decision was not made lightly and was taken only after due process was followed. I have written three letters to the Honorable Radrodro since the 6th of September, 2023. The Honorable Radrodro was given the opportunity to explain himself, but failed to do so.”

Rabuka says he also had discussions with Deputy Prime Minister and Social Democratic Liberal Party leader Viliame Gavoka on the 30th of October.

“In addition, I have been advised by Honorable Kamikamica that while he was Acting Prime Minister in May of 2023, he requested the Solicitor General to provide him a copy of the legal opinion with regards to the termination of the FNU Chair and Council Members. The Honorable Kamikamica as Acting Prime Minister, met with the Honorable Radrodro and advised him to comply with the legal advice from the Solicitor General. The Honorable Radrodro assured the Acting Prime Minister then that he would address the issues accordingly.”

Rabuka says in terms of his communication with the other political parties in the Coalition, his channel of communication is through their respective party leaders.

He says as a Prime Minister he does not have a direct conduit to SODELPA or its Management Board, nor to NFP and its Management Board.

Rabuka says his channel of communication to SODELPA and the Management Board is through the Deputy Prime Minister and SODELPTA Party and the Parliamentary Leader, Viliame Gavoka.

The Prime Minister further says on the 15th of January this year, he wrote to Gavoka of his disappointment at the insubordination, disobedience, and lack of response from Radrodro.

He says he had also informed Gavoka that he will dismiss Radrodro from Cabinet, and that the Education Ministry would be added to Gavoka’s ministerial portfolio in addition to tourism and civil aviation.

The letter was transmitted by email on the 16th of January.

He adds that a media statement regarding the dismissal was published only after confirmation of the delivery of letters to Radrodro, the President, and the Parliament Speaker was received.