I have spoken previously about pressure to lie says Narube, but have no proof 

Unity Fiji party leader Savenaca Narube has maintained that this is not the first time he has publicly spoken out about being asked to lie about the status of the Fijian economy while he was Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, but he does not have any proof or recordings of the statements being previously made.

Narube told Mai TV he has previously spoken about the incident since 2017.

“Many people asked me why I left the RBF. So I have been telling my story since 2017 when I entered politics. This is the first time the media is picking this up. Good on them,” Narube said.

But when asked about whether he has any record of previously saying that Narube said: “Unfortunately there are no recordings of our meetings. Perhaps you can talk to others in our team.”

“I was told to lie, but I did not lie. If I did lie, I would not have been sacked the same day the Interim Government abrogated the 1997 Constitution. Many people asked me why I left the RBF. So, I have been telling my story since 2017 when I entered politics. This is the first time the media is picking this up. Good on them,” Narube said.

“I resisted the demand for a devaluation. Only one week after I left the RBF, the Fiji dollar was devalued by 20%. I rest my case.”

At a press conference yesterday Fiji’s Minister for Economy and Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum asked why Narube did not raise his concerns then or four years ago whilst contesting the 2018 elections.

“I don’t know where he is pulling that stuff out from,” Sayed-Khaiyum said. “If he was so aggrieved by it and if indeed it happened, why didn’t he raise it earlier on? He stood for elections in 2018, how come he didn’t say it then. Absolutely no proof provided, who asked him to do that, and which figures did he cook up. And now he is turning around to say he was booted out as a result of that, No, the constitution [1997 Constitution] was abrogated…so new people were appointed to those positions, and some people reappointed.”

Sayed-Khaiyum also said Narube should not be talking about the lack of good governance when he was “part and parcel of a demise in good governance in Fiji” when he held both the Permanent Secretary Finance (now Economy) and Governor positions simultaneously.

To this, Narube said it was not illegal, and that his appointment to the position of PS Finance whilst Governor was made in the interest of the nation.

“I started my appointment as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji on a Monday in early May 2000. George Speight executed his coup on Friday. Since no one had replaced me as Permanent Secretary for Finance, the Public Service Commission asked me to also take care of the Ministry for Finance. So, I was the Governor and the Acting PS at the same time.

“This was not against any law. It was in the national interest. This was a crisis and the need was immediate to safeguard the government finance. I believe this reflected the PSC’s confidence in my ability to safeguard the country’s economy and finance. I was successful in protecting government finance and the soundness of the financial system. I was only paid the Governor’s salary. Monetary and fiscal policy are not independent. They are complementary.”

Narube held the position of RBF Governor from May 2000 until mid-April 2009.

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