Rabuka: PM Bainimarama can’t fool all the people all the time

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka. Picture: FT FILE

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka has hit back at comments recently made by Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama in Melbourne, Australia, saying it was unfortunate that the PM was continuing to ridicule former Fijian leaders and successive governments following the events of 2006. While speaking at the Victorian Multicultural Sports Association business event on Sunday, Mr Bainimarama claimed that since 2007, his Government had spent more than $F2 billion in interest to clean up Mr Rabuka’s mess along with the debt of other governments which he had inherited. He also told Fijians gathered at the event that previous governments borrowed irresponsibly and mismanaged Fiji’s economy. “I’m sure I don’t have to remind those of you in this room that it was none other than the current head of SODELPA who was in charge of Fiji’s economy when National Bank of Fiji (NBF) collapsed, a scandal that created such massive debts that it would take generations to repay,” Mr Bainimarama said. “That’s what you have to remember when SODELPA promises to give free everything to everyone, with no idea how they’ll fund their big and completely unrealistic promises. “My Government has proven that we know how to grow an economy. While SODELPA has proven they only know how to sink one.” In response, Mr Rabuka said this was not the first time that the PM had brought up the issue relating to the NBF and it was also unfortunate that Mr Bainimarama was misleading the people by saying that only his Government was growing the economy. “My message to Prime Minister Bainimarama is that he can fool some of the people some of the time, but he cannot fool all the people, all of the time,” Mr Rabuka said. He admitted that he took full responsibility of the failure of the NBF as Fiji’s PM then, but he said PM Bainimarama should look at the NBF issue in its proper context, rather than misleading Fijians. “Prime Minister Bainimarama cannot continue to blame previous governments for the poor performance after 2006, because figures reveal otherwise,” he said. “His performance has to be measured on its own merits.”

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