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Dr. Lesi Korovavala is a former Fijian civil servant, who erved as the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry for Home Affairs. He is a former senior Military officer with a doctorate in military studies, he reached the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was also aide-de-camp to President Ratu Penaia Ganilau for a time.
Korovavala had a strained relationship with the Military Commander, Commodore Frank Bainimarama. In December 2005, Bainimarama blamed him for repeated delays in the convening of a court martial to retry 20 soldiers convicted of a mutiny at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks on 2 November 2000, and demanded his resignation. In a number of statements to the various Fijian news outlets, including Fiji Live, Fiji Village, and the Fiji Sun, Bainimarama also announced his intention to commandeer Korovavala's office, and said in the last week of December that he had sent Military engineers to secure it.
In mid-January 2006, Fiji Labour Party President Jokapeci Koroi publicly accused Korovavala of having had a hand in what she said was an attempted mutiny at Suva's Queen Elizabeth Barracks. Lieutenant Colonel Jone Baledrokadroka, the Action Land Force Commander, was dismissed on 13 January by Bainimarama for alleged insubordination, and, he added in subsequent press conferences, treats to kill him. He endorsed Koroi's allegations against Korovavala.
Korovavala angrily denied the charges, and announced his intention to pursue legal action.
The Military continued its demands for Korovavala's dismissal by lodging a formal complaint with the Public Service Commission (PSC), Military spokesman Captain Neumi Leweni told the Fiji Sun on 18 January. The complaint had repeated the allegation that Korovavala had been involved in an alleged plot to instigate a mutiny at the Queen Elizabeth Barracks on 12 January. PSC Chairman Stuart Huggett told the Sun that a letter from Korovavala denying the allegations had been received.
Anare Jale, the Chief Executive Officer of the PSC, announced on 24 January 2006 that an independent team to investigate the allegations against Korovavala would be named by the end of the week.
- "Fiji military asks for removal of home affairs ministry chief executive". Radio New Zealand International. 17 January 2006. Retrieved 10 August 2010.