Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Leweni's appointment worries ex-diplomat

Wednesday August 22, 2007


Comment:
Everyone knows how eminently unqualified Leweni is for the posting. What does a Military Army Band conductor understand about international diplomacy and relations. We all know tis jobs for the boys and sooner we get a democratic government, sooner he is hauled back to his band master role.

Major Neumi Leweni
The appointment of army spokesman Major Neumi Leweni as Fiji's defence attaché to China has concerned former Ambassador Jeremaia Waqanisau.

Waqanisau who was recalled earlier in the year told the Fiji Times that Leweni was not qualified for the position.

Leweni will also be counsellor to Waqanisau's replacement, Sir James Ah Koy.

He said Leweni's predecessor Naipote Katonitabua was a university graduate and was the principal economic planning officer and was able to produce reports and plans for the embassy's missions and objectives.

"If he is going to replace the first secretary, he will not be able to do the job because he is not trained for that," said Waqanisau.

He added that Leweni's inability to do job of the first secretary will affect the embassy's mission.

Meanwhile interim Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama says he hopes Leweni's appointment as defence attaché to China will strengthen ties with its military.

"We thought it would be good to have a defense advisor in China," he said.

Bainimarama said the Fiji military had to look north after Australia, New Zealand and the US stopped military training and assistance.

Waqanisau said the post of the first secretary to the ambassador should be left to a civil servant.

He said appointing someone who did not have any knowledge of policies would be a disadvantage to the service.

Leweni is expected to leave for China with his family this Friday.

Leweni unfit for role: Ex-envoy

FTimes - Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Former Ambassador to China Jeremaia Waqanisau has expressed concern at the appointment of military spokesman Major Neumi Leweni as counsellor to his replacement, Sir James Ah Koy.

Mr Waqanisau, who was recalled from Mainland China earlier this year, said the First Secretary to Fiji's Ambassador to China Naipote Katonitabua was a university graduate and was the principal economic planning officer and was able to produce reports and plans for the embassy's missions and objectives.

"My concern is that if Major Leweni is going to replace the first secretary, he will not be able to do the job because he is not trained for that," said Mr Waqanisau.

He said Major Leweni's inability to do job of the first secretary would affect the embassy's mission.

Mr Waqanisau said he was still of the opinion the post of the first secretary to the ambassador should be left to a civil servant.

He said appointing someone who did not have any knowledge of policies would be a disadvantage to the service.

"When I came back from my post as Fiji's ambassador to China, I had raised this issue with the permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs," he said. He said his concern was the mission would not be successful if an unsuitable appointment was made.

Major Leweni is scheduled to leave for China with his family on Friday.

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