Minister for Labour Jone Usamate with Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz and Lesila Kamikamica.
The compensation payment for the late Lance Corporal Rusiate Kamikamica has come as a huge relief to his family.
Late Lance Corporal Kamikamica, who was a member of the regular force in the Republic of Fiji Military Forces (RFMF), died at the age of 51 while undertaking a physical training in Namaka, Nadi in April, 2001. Late Lance Corporal Kamikamica was training for his tour of duty to Sinai.
The only daughter of late Lance Corporal Kamikamica, Lesila Kamikamica, while receiving the compensation cheque from the Minister for Labour Jone Usamate said they faced a lot of financial difficulties after her father’s sudden death.
The 26-year old of Namelimeli, Navua said that her father was the sole breadwinner in their family.
“My mother and I are very happy that this government has made the compensation payment possible for us. It has come about after more than a decade and we thank the Labour Ministry, the RFMF and the government for the compensation,” Ms Kamikamica said.
Ms Kamikamica, who is enrolled on a teaching course at the University of the South Pacific said she will use the money to further her studies and begin a canteen business.
Mr Usamate said today’s compensation payment is indicative of the Fijian’s Government’s commitment to social justice.
“This ministry believes in social justice. In other words, the things that people should get, must be given to them. We’ve had workmen’s compensation laws in this country that did not include a major part of our workforce like the people involved in the security services, who were sacrificing their lives,” Mr Usamate said.
“It is only since the Bainimarama Government came in that it was recognised that everybody who works, whatever your place of employment, if you lose your life or if you get injured because of the nature of your work, you should be compensated.”
Minister Usamate added that Government has set aside $1.5million for workmen’s compensation in this year’s budget.
“By the first half of this year, we hope to make most of the compensation payments for those employed in the public sector, including the police, military and all other government employees.”
The minister also stressed the need for employers to ensure safe work places for Fijian employees at all times.
Brigadier General Mohammed Aziz, who was also present during the cheque presentation, said today’s compensation payment has set the precedence for the other cases that fall in the same category.