[Jan 21, 2014]
The UFDF said today that statements attributed to Lt Col Netani Rika as reported by the Fiji Sun and Frank Bainimarama as reported by Vijay Narayan and Mohammed Feroz show clear breaches of the Civil Service Standing Orders [2011 revision] and abuse of office.
The UFDF says the Civil Service Standing Orders on Campaigning Sec 1222 states quote ‘ Campaigning or political activity by a Civil Servant while on duty is forbidden. Civil Servants must not be canvassing or by any other means attempt publicly to further the activities or aspirations of a political party, or the election or return of an individual (whether a member of a political party or not) in any election to the House of Representatives or to a local Government body including Provincial Councils unquote
The UFDF says Lt Col Rika’s comments are political in nature and breach The Civil Service Standing orders 1222 that disallow quote ‘canvassing or by any other means attempt publicly to further the activities or aspirations of a political party’ unquote. There can be no doubt that Lt Col Rika was canvassing for Bainimarama’s party and as Commissioner Eastern he is abusing the privileges of his office as well as Sec 14 (1) (c) (d) of Decree 4 of 2013.
The UFDF says in the case of Frank Bainimarama he remains Commander of the Military and according to his Regimes own decree No 4 of 2013 he is in breach of the following provisions-
POLITICAL PARTIES (REGISTRATION, CONDUCT, FUNDING AND DISCLOSURES) DECREE 2013 DECREE NO 4 OF 2013
Restrictions on public officers in a political party
Sec 14 (1) A public officer shall not-
(c) Engage in political activity that may compromise or be seen to compromise the political neutrality of that person’s office; or
(d) Publicly indicate support for or opposition to any proposed political party or a political party registered under this decree or candidate in an election
(2) For the purposes of this section, ‘public officer’ means any person-
(c) Holding any office in the public service, the Fiji Police, Fiji Corrections Services or the Republic of Fiji Military Forces.
(4) Any public officer who intends to be an applicant or a member of, or hold office in, a proposed political party or a political party registered under this decree, must resign from the respective public office prior to applying to become an applicant or a member of, or hold office in, a proposed political party or a political party registered under this decree.
(5) A public officer is deemed to have vacated his or her office mentioned in subsection 2 immediately before the time at which he or she applies to become and applicant or a member of. Or hold office in, a proposed political party or a [political party registered under this decree.
The UFDF says the Commander’s repeated statements about forming his own party and contesting elections is in clear breach of Sec 14 (1) (c), (d), (2) (c) and (4) and (5) of Decree 4 of 2013. Just as Lt Col Rika’s statements are in breach of the Civil Service Standing Orders.
The UFDF says Lt Col Rika and Commodore Bainimarama have broken the law and the Acting Commissioner of Police and the Civil Service Commission are obliged to uphold the laws that govern these public office holders and appropriate and immediate action should be taken against them just as they would apply it to any other citizen.
The UFDF says if the newly elected Electoral Commission is serious about ensuring free and fair elections and remaining impartial and independent then it cannot ‘look the other way’ when clear abuse of office and breaches of the law as reported are committed by their employer.
Authorized By UFDF