A few Fiji bloggers have sharply criticized the country’s military government for allowing the armed forces to overspend its allocated funds in the past fiscal year by more than 50 percent.
The hubbub came after self-appointed Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe (Frank) Bainimarama introduced a new $1.75 billion budget Friday, November 21 that included an increase for military spending for 2007 to more than $68.7 million, up from the $43 million the armed forces has been allocated. Bainimarama, who came to power in a military-lead December 2006 coup, did not directly address military finances, instead concentrated on business incentives he hopes will jump start the country’s stagnating economy, like offering 13 years of tax free status for companies opening businesses on eight different islands and cutting corporate taxes from 32 to 28 percent over the next two years.
Soon after the budget became public, however, local media began reporting that during the previous five years, the Republic of Fiji Military Forces overspent its earmarks by $118 million. A military spokesman explained the country’s armed forces overshot its 2007 finances because they learned “members of the ousted government had requested for military intervention” from an outside power.
“The budget allocation Frank has presented has proven to us all where his real concerns lie, argues Rajnalu, writing at Raw Fiji News:
The Good book says, “Where your treasure is,there your heart will be also”.
If you therefore follow the money, you will see that his heart is closely tied to his own security and not yours, Fiji.
He has piled the treasures up at Nabua so Nabua can keep him safe.
As long as there is true wisdom, honesty and the sense of stability displayed by leaders, the people will naturally rise to the occasion and change their own situations, for the better.
Until you do that, Frank, you will not live to see such a wonder of a sight when people rally behind a true leader and change the course of their lives and their nation.
All that Frank sees now is a revolt in the horizon.
Until Fiji breaks it’s silence over the this political, economic and social fracas, everything that is coming out of Nabua and out of the interim government, Fiji deserves!
There is a place and time for ’silence’, but now is not the time.
Soli Vakasama wonders where the money is going to come from:
It comes as no surprise the Military are the biggest benefactors of the budget because the illegal regime cannot remain in power without their support. [Former Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry] Chand and [Current architect of Building a Better Fiji plan John] Samy are caught in a vicious cycle because they need to keep the military happy or it will turn against them. The main question is how are they going to pay for this budget? More and more people are going to be lose their jobs by the 1st quarter next year and it will become more bleaker during the 2nd quarter then progressively worse going into the 3rd and 4th quarter.
Whilst we want this illegal regime to collapse and a lawful government restored, we need to be conscious of the international influences involved at the same time who will exploit our situation and who these illegal bastards will veiw as saviours.
From a commenter called EnufDictatorship:
So the Efen Military gets the increase for capital projects while they think of reducing the civil service by 10%?…what kind of capital projects? filling their armoury with more guns and ammunitions to destruct the UNARMED citizens of Fiji?
Will they reduce the military by 10% as well? By the looks of it NOT!
Poor children of Fiji and their education, which will just coast on the average bcos the funds are diverted to adults who can and will use their guns to kill them!
And u’re so right SV…where are the monies coming from?
Finally, gdevreal, writing at Fiji Board Exiles points out that the budget allocations are illegal because they weren't approved by tax payers.
Military blood money blew budget by $50 million of taxpayer money without approval by any legitimate decisionmaking body.
So it is not just the increase in military budget, but also the amount by which they illegally exceed that budget. This is the BLOOD MONEY the regime uses to rape the People of their democracy. So isn't it wonderful that the police and army facilities are neat and clean. It covers up the FILTH of their mentality as they run paradise, industry, and the hopes and dreams of the People into the ground.