Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, has issued what has been described “as a brand new ultimatum.”
During his press conference on Thursday, he ruled that couples working at the Ministry of Police, would no longer be allowed to work together.
In explaining why he was doing this, Tuilaepa said “there are many reasons why this should not happen.”
For instance, there were safety reasons, he said.
He also said this was part of the reforms since he’d moved the Ministry of Police under his portfolio in December 2016.
Tuilaepa said he was not happy that this issue had been ongoing for so long, and yet nothing had been done to rectify it by the former Commissioners.
He said: “This is one of the issues within the ministry that should have been dealt with a long time ago,” said the Prime Minister.
He blamed the former Commissioners.
“They knew what was going on right under their noses and they allowed it.
“Couples cannot work together, he explained.
“This is a standing policy all over the world; a wife cannot work with her husband,” he said.
Tuilaepa said it would have been a different story if it was a family business.
He said this should not happen in any Ministry of Government, adding: “What will happen, is that they will not heed the policies of the Ministry, but do what benefits them as a family.
“The same will occur if they have their children working together with them.
“This is one of the reasons there are numerous predicaments within the Ministry of Police,” he said.
Tuilaepa did not identify how many couples within the Ministry worked together but he said pointedly: “They know who they are.”
He also said: “Well nothing is hidden under the sun in our country. Everything will come out.”
Prime Minister Tuilaepa was apparently told that some Police Officers had requested time to discuss the matter with their families.
He said they even wanted to know if they would be compensated for the time they’d been with the Police up to now.
Indeed, they even asked whether they would be compensated if they resigned as a result of the ultimatum.
Tuilaepa said: “It has been a year. I told them this should be finalized by the end of December this year.”
He also said: “This should have not happened in the first place.
“But it appears that nothing has been done about it and this is the end result.”
He said: “Postponing it will allow them to assume that there will be some sort of solution and that way this wrongdoing will continue.
Tuilaepa said: “This is why there are problems in the government. It is utilizing mutual respect in a wrongful manner and it is not doing what is right.”