COMMODORE Frank Bainimarama’s reason for his Cabinet reshuffle lacks merit and substance, and is doomed to fail.
I recall soon after the coup, Bainimarama and his Military Council proudly proclaiming that all Cabinet positions were vacant and would be advertised in their quest to legitimise their illegal takeover.
This proclamation was simply a smoke screen because even after the military claimed having received over 300 applications, it was common knowledge that all previous Interim
Cabinet ministers were invited and no one applied.
This time around, Bainimarama no longer uses the smoke screen and directly invites four new interim ministers after dumping nine from his previous Cabinet.
The overall goal of his reshuffle was to “remove overlaps and conflicts, balance the workloads and responsibilities and enhance synergies”.
My question is who caused this overlap and conflicts? Who caused the imbalance of workloads and responsibilities? Who caused the disharmony?
It is none other than Bainimarama and his Military Council because they alone, together with their shadowy advisers who are responsible for the selection of the previous interim Cabinet!
As usual, Bainimarama never accepts any responsibility, but instead used these nine interim ministers as cannon fodder.
Going on the track record of the previous interim Cabinet and comparing it with the current overloading of ministerial responsibilities among fewer interim ministers, it seems highly unlikely that Bainimarama will be able to fulfil the unrealistic undertaking he has made.
For example, President Ratu Josefa Iloilo in his prepared speech when resuming executive power in January 2007 set down 11 mandates for the interim Cabinet to fulfil.
Mandate # 10 is the only mandate, which directs the interim Cabinet to “immediately as practicable introduce a Code of Conduct and Freedom of Information provisions”.
What progress has transpired after 12 months? Nothing!
This responsibility comes under the interim A-G’s portfolio, which means he has failed the President by not being able to carry out his Cabinet responsibilities as per mandate.
However, Bainimarama not only retains him despite several serious blunders during the last 12 months, including one instance where Government House erroneously intervened on his behalf, yet he still rewards and entrusts him with even more responsibility than he can possibly handle!
It seems that Bainimarama removes only those who are a threat to him or those who seem to have changed their perception of being involved in his illegal Government.
One thing Bainimarama needs to learn among many other things is that when he picks people after his own heart with no room for constructive criticism, he faces a dilemma.
His dilemma is that despite seeming to doubling in his strength, it is all illusionary because he at the same time is also doubling in his weakness!
That is why I say his reasons for his Cabinet reshuffle lacks merit and substance and is doomed to fail from the very beginning.