17 May 2007

Fiji anti-corruption unit investigating Water Supply Department

8:52 am on 17 May 2007

Fiji's director of water and sewerage, Paul Wilisoni, has been suspended on half pay to allow for investigations by the anti-corruption unit into a suspected scandal in the Water Supply Department.

The Fiji Times reports that other department officials from Labasa have been taken to the local army camp for questioning.

Mr Wilisoni was first suspended several years ago with some of his officials, following allegations made in the Auditor General's report but they were reinstated.

The military spokesman, Major Neumi Leweni, says officials taken in were questioned in connection with issues uncovered by the anti-corruption unit.

The water department has been in the spotlight regularly over mismanagement and abuse of funds as tens of thousands of people face chronic water supply problems.

On Tuesday there were reports of people stealing water from the tanks of a large school just outside Suva preventing it from opening for the new school term.

Meanwhile, five officials of the ministry of works and transport in Fiji's west were sacked this week for fraud and misappropriation of funds involving several hundred thousand dollars between 2004 and 2006.