7 Dec 2016

Fiji opposition concerned about PM's app launch

11:50 am on 7 December 2016

Fiji's opposition Sodelpa Party has expressed concern about last month's launch of the Instacharge app by the prime minister Frank Bainimarama.

Fiji PM launches Instacharge app in Suva

Fiji PM launches Instacharge app in Suva Photo: YouTube

The app, which promises to be able to recharge a phone without a charger, has been described as a con, and Sodelpa said the negative publicity about the launch in Suva has gone viral, bringing criticism and mockery on the government of Fiji.

Speaking to the Fiji Sun from Belgium, Mr Bainimarama said he had attended the event to encourage local businessman Gaurangbhai Patel and inspire greater entrepreneurship on the part of young Fijians and that he had not endorsed the app.

He also said the Government needs to set higher standards when screening companies entering Fiji.

A screenshot of the sparsely detailed Instacharge website.

A screenshot of the sparsely detailed Instacharge website. Photo: RNZI

The app creators said they were honoured to have their pre-product officially launched by the Fijian prime minister, adding that Fiji will also serve as global headquarters for Instacharge where more than 50 local Fijians will be employed.

They insist that the app does work and said they regret that Mr Bainimarama has been subject to fabricated and malicious allegations which are a direct insult toward the Fijian government and more importantly the people of Fiji.

Sodelpa said the incident highlights the failure of the government's vetting procedures but is not such a surprise if there is a culture of fear and subservience.

Sodelpa Party Headquarters

Sodelpa Party Headquarters Photo: RNZI / Sally Round

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs