In the latest purge in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, Fijileaks is reporting that two expatriate Assistant DPPs – Elizabeth Rice and Lee Burney – have been dismissed on the grounds of ethnicity.
The Acting DPP, John Rabuku, has not only been illegally appointed in direct violation of the Constitution that bans anyone found guilty of professional misconduct from being appointed DPP. He is a naked racist who is removing his staff simply on the basis of the colour of their skin and recklessly jeopardising the performance of his Office.
In the case of Elizabeth Rice, Rabuku has removed her just as she was about the launch the prosecution of the ousted Attorney General, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, on a charge of abuse of office. The Acting DPP suddenly appeared in court, announced that he would be taking over the case and needed more time to prepare because he had only been in possession of the file since last Friday.
It was unclear at the time precisely why there was a sudden change of prosecutor. But Grubsheet has received independent verification that Elizabeth Rice was summoned by John Rabuku and told to resign or be sacked because she was “white” and he wanted to appoint iTaukei to senior positions in the ODPP.
If this is confirmed, then it is imperative that this illegally-appointed racist be dismissed as a matter of urgency. To explicitly use ethnicity as a reason for highly competent people to be removed from public office is an outrage. It is not only a further violation of the Constitution but an assault on Fijian democracy, the rights of all citizens and the principle that people be chosen on merit and not the colour of their skin.
It also jeopardises the trial of Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Instead of facing a highly respected prosecutor in the form of Elizabeth Rice who is feared because of her near-perfect record of securing convictions, the case is now in the hands of a man who is not only undistinguished but unprepared.
The only cause for celebration is on the part of the ousted AG and his legal team who now know that the State goes into this case against him severely weakened. For the rest of us (and them), this story can only trigger disgust and deep alarm. Because we now have conclusive proof that the Coalition’s secret agenda is nakedly racist. And on that basis alone, it has forfeited its right to remain in office.
Contrary to the pre-election promises of the Coalition that it would govern for all, Fiji is now no better than South Africa under the apartheid regime or the American deep south under the Ku Klux Klan.
This should be an issue of great concern to delegates attending the Fiji Law Society Convention at the Shangri-La resort on Yanuca Island today and tomorrow. The Law Society has already called for the reversal of John Rabuku’s appointment as Acting DPP on the grounds that it is unlawful. But there is now conclusive proof that he is totally unfit for public office of any kind.
More on this highly disturbing story to come.