Kubuabola on the line

Ratu Inoke Kubuabola. Picture: FT FILE/BALJEET SINGH

Among the Fijian diplomats in foreign missions likely to face Government’s axe is Fiji’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Ratu Inoke Kubuabola.

Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka hinted at Ratu Inoke’s departure in an interview with The Fiji Times.

Ratu Inoke has served in every administration from the military government established by the then Lieutenant Colonel Sitiveni Rabuka in 1987, right up to the Voreqe Bainimarama-led FijiFirst government which was ousted at the polls last year.

Speaking to The Fiji Times, Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka said Ratu Inoke had been in New Zealand “for quite some time” and it was time for him to pack his bags and come home.

“He has survived all the administrations since I was in there in 1992,” the PM said.

“And it’d be unfair for him to continue to play diplomatic gymnastics at this time.

“He will have to weigh that up very, very well and quickly. But he’ll be one of those that will be recalled for briefing and then terminated upon a contract and if we feel that he has more to contribute, we can send him back.”

Mr Rabuka said the coalition Government was “revising everything” and also said the personnel change would reflect the ability of diplomats to convey the present administration’s policies and messaging when it came to bilateral issues.

“It’s normal for administrations to review the manning of the diplomatic officers representation overseas.

“If I send you to convey my message, and somebody else comes in with a different message, would he still rely on you to convey his message when you had all your training and all your background readings and knowledge, based on conveying your previous bosses message, and a new boss comes in with a different message?”

The PM also said the system in place now warranted the types of changes being made.

“Our system of election is virtually a presidential kind of election — where a leader comes in, a head of government comes in and changes the whole system so that his party’s policies are the ones that are used to engineer the work at home and also to project the image of the nation to the world with our missions.”

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