5 Feb 2004

Fiji PM confirms removal of Home Affairs CEO

7:54 am on 5 February 2004

The Fiji Prime Minister's Office has confirmed that the chief executive of the home affairs ministry, Col Jeremaia Waqanisau, is to be removed following the re-appointment of Commodore Bainimarama as military commander.

The confirmation has come from the chief executive of Mr Qarase's office, Jioji Kotobalavu.

Mr Kotobalavu says Col Waqanisau is being given a diplomatic posting to China to allow for a harmonious relationship between the home affairs ministry and Commodore Bainmarama.

Mr Kotobalavu says this is the price the government has to pay to maintain peace and national security in the country.

Col Waqanisau was not happy with Commodore Bainmarama's re-appointment and had recommended other officers for the position because of serious differences with the commander.

Commodore Bainmarama had recommended the sacking of Col Waqanisau late last year, saying the home affairs chief had been giving poor security advice to the government.

The Commodore would not comment on the issue but the Fiji Times says it understands one condition of his re-appointment as military commander was Col Waqanisau's removal from the home affairs ministry

Col Waqanisau had been appointed chief executive on January the 1st after being upgraded from permament secretary and given a 25 percent salary increase taking the total package to 72-thousand US dollars.