28 Jun 2002

Fiji's ruling SDL party says agriculture civil servants real culprits

10:53 am on 28 June 2002

Fiji's ruling SDL party says the suspended civil servant in the middle of a multi million dollar agriculture scam should face up to his crimes.

The SDL's general secretary, Josaia Diani, says the former head of the Agriculture ministry, Peniaisi Kunatuba, should not blame the former interim government for him being caught misusing public funds.

Mr Diani says Mr Kunatuba is trying to discredit the Qarase administration and cause racial disharmony by accusing it of using the agriculture funds to buy votes.

Mr Kunatuba filed a writ in the high court claiming that he was instructed to release large sums of money ahead of last year's election to buy votes.

Mr Diani says Mr Kunatuba was a greedy civil servant who got caught in the act.

"Why create a lot of unnecessary instability? This current government is trying to rectify the indigenous economic position as well as the educational and social situation. The civil servants were all supposed to be overseeing the scheme. they used that scheme for their own benefit."

Josaia Diani