War of words – Bainimarama hits out at former MP

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (right) & former MP and Naitasiri landowner Peceli Rinakama. Picture: FIJI TIMES ONLINE

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama yesterday took a swipe at former MP and Naitasiri landowner Peceli Rinakama after he requested for a representative from their province to seat on the board of the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

During a talanoa session at the Naitasiri Provincial Council meeting in Kalabu Village, Mr Rinakama said the last rep from Naitasiri to seat on the board was Ratu Solo Buaserau, the chief of Navuakece.

“I have one very important request to make to you, you know very well the land in Naitasiri,” Mr Rinakama said.

“As the Minister for iTaukei Affairs, chairman of the iTaukei Land Trust Board, when will you consider having a Naitasiri representative on the board.”

Mr Rinakama then referred to a Bible text about how kings protected their land.

In response, Mr Bainimarama told Mr Rinakama to take away the Bible text and tell him why did he want a Naitasiri representative on the board. Mr Rinakama said it was important for landowners to also be part of every decision made on their land.

Mr Bainimarama said that was his responsibility and that he could not understand the agenda behind having a Naitasiri representative on the board. “As you all know, we carried out a huge development on the island of Rotuma, you know that?” he said.

“Have you (Mr Rinakama) seen the many developments I’ve done across the country. I am not from Macuata, I am not from Cakaudrove, I am not from Naitasiri, but I did all these developments in Naitasiri. It doesn’t mean there is no Naitasiri representative on the board, that we will not look after the province, we will look after you.”

Mr Rinakama said after the meeting he noticed the question triggered Mr Bainimarama.

Mr Rinakama thanked the Government for the various infrastructure developments within the province of Naitasiri.

Meanwhile, the meeting ends today.

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