Opposition Shadow Minister for Lands, Hon Jiosefa Dulakiverata, supports moves by the Minister for Lands and Mineral Resources, Hon Mereseini Vuniwaqa, to reorganize and improve the efficiency of the Ministry of Lands.
Hon Dulakiverata said the Minister (The Fiji Times Oct 25th page 3) had confirmed that complaints of tenants and landowners were caused by ‘lethargy’ within the Ministry which was ‘too laid back’ in its work ethic.
“I congratulate the Minister on her honesty,” Hon Dulakiverata said. “Her admission of the shortcomings within the Ministry is a direct reflection of the poor performance of her immediate predecessor, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama.”
Hon Dulakiverata said that the Minister, in her maiden parliamentary speech, had claimed much organizational change had been accomplished in the ministry by Government in the last seven years. She went on to praise the internal reforms led by the honorable Prime Minister that had laid a solid foundation on which she intended to build.
The Minister was now saying that there was much work to be done in the Ministry. Certain issues, she revealed, needed immediate attention. These included rectifying past mistakes caused by corrupt practices and lack of respect for human dignity, equality, basic fairness and good governance.
The Minister’s criticism of the Lands Ministry’s operations undermines her claims about the success of Mr Bainimarama’s reforms.
“What accomplishments by Government and her predecessor was the Minister referring to in her speech when she lavished praise on him?
“Was it the organizational restructure and internal reforms she spoke of that have resulted in uncollected rental arrears of $25 million? Or is this the result of the ‘lethargy’ and ‘laid back’ approach to service delivery that she is now criticizing?
Clearly the Prime Minister must provide some of the answers relating to his time in the Ministry.