4 Aug 2006

Sacked Fiji businessman accuses rival of using political patronage

10:01 am on 4 August 2006

The sacked managing director of a leading indigenous Fijian company claims his ousting is the result of a coup staged by an indigenous Fijian businessman.

Isimeli Bose and his board were sacked this week from the Ba Provincial Holding Company after allegations of misleading financial statements, lapses in corporate governance and gross mismanagement.

But Mr Bose has told Fiji TV the key issue is who will get the licence to operate Fiji's second mobile phone network.

The Ba Provincial Holding Company is in partnership with DIGICEL from the West Indies and was granted a licence in principle in April.

But a company owned by the Native Lands Trust Board in partnership with an Indo-Fijian businessman has been seeking the support of high chiefs, including one who is serving a life sentence in prison, to get the second mobile phone licence.

The chief in prison, Ratu Inoke Takiveikata who is behind bars for inciting the November 2000 mutiny, has written to the prime minister in support of the other mobile phone licence

The Prime Minister's Office has confirmed receiving the letter from Suva Prison.

Mr Bose claims his removal is a coup and he has been treated like a criminal.