RECENT OVER-EXPENDITURE REPORT IS NOTHING NEW: LEWENI
SUVA (RF Online/Pacific Media Watch): Military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni says the recent hype in the media about the over-expenditure of Fiji’s military in 2007 is nothing new.
The military made the headlines recently after it was discovered it spent $45.6 million more than its 2007 budgetary allocation.
This discovery was accompanied by criticism from many who demanded an explanation for the enormous overspending.
Both Major Leweni and then Finance Minister Mahendra Chaudhry told FBCL News the reason for the over-expenditure was because of the need to take on extra manpower following reports of a possible external military intervention.
As to the many criticisms that the military and the finance ministry have copped in the last few days, Leweni had this to say.
“As you can see, the criticism did not only start when the budget came out. You will note that it is from the same people. People who have been against the military and the interim government from day one. So these people will always be out there to pick on issues to try and discredit the interim government and the RFMF. And just lately, after having listened to articles that have come out, a lot of people fail to realise the amount of money that have been brought in by peacekeepers. And unfortunately people have always looked at the negative side of it.”
The military allocation for 2007 was $80.7 million.
Its total expenditure was $126.28 million, exceeding their allocation by $40.6 million.