A letter dated 18th April, 2005 was received by the acting President of Fiji, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi (PICTURED). It was addressed to Commander Fiji Military Forces, directing Binimarama not to make public pronouncements regarding issues affecting National Security, Public Safety and Public Order without prior express consultation with the Minister for Home Affairs. The Minister is Bainimarama’s boss.
This letter was also copied to Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase, and to Qoriniasi Bale, the Attorney General and Minister for Justice. Bainimarama disobeyed the orders and disregarded the directive from his boss. So the police investigated Bainimarama’s Disobedience of a Lawful Order.
Bainimarama’s disobedience was evident 7 days later when he responded to the Minister for Home Affairs in a letter dated 19 April 2005. Bainimarama wrote that that he could not accept the Ministerial executive command of the Royal Fiji Military Forces,over his ability to issue public statements on National Security and Public Order. Clearly Bainimarama is stating that he is more important and above his boss. This clearly suggests that, under Bainimarama, any officer of the RFMF does not have to accept the executive command of the Royal Fiji Military Forces.
The President and the Prime Minister’s office confirmed that the:
On 9 January 2006, with still no action by Madraiwiwi, the Minister for Home Affairs lodged an official complaint to the Commissioner of Police. This compelled Madraiwiwi to do something, so the next day, 10 January, Madraiwiwi decides to meet with the Minister for Home Affairs, Prime Minister Qarase and Bainimarama - The purpose, to resolve differences.
This meeting took place 13 January 2006. Present were the Minister for Home Affairs, Prime Minister Qarase and Ratu Madraiwiwi. Madraiwiwi then meets with Bainimarama and PM Qarase on 16 January 2006 and informs Bainimarama to go through the proper channels before making any public statements on matters relating to National Security and Pubic Order.
Bainimarama disobeyed his Commander in Chief and continued to make public statements without consulting and obtaining clearance from his boss, the Minister for Home Affairs. The Minister for Home Affairs did not withdraw his directive to Bainimarama to stop making public statements on his own without first obtaining clearance from the ministry. Bainimarama can still be arrested for this – unfortunately COMPOL Naivalurua values his job and corrupt life style over actually doing his duty (a useless golden baton recipient)
This all suggests that the President of Fiji needs to be more than just a symbolic figure-head. The president must be a true leader, have strength of character, intelligence and courage. And as Fiji’s history shows, the president plays a key role in helping to stabilize the country. Therefore, the president must also be of the highest integrity, not corrupt, not act the fool and not be a drunken.