After serving the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration for 41 years, one of government’s longest serving C.E.Os has called it a day.
The former Chief Executive Officer for the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration, Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe, bid farewell to the Ministry on Friday during an emotional farewell.
And with that, the control of the Ministry is now with the new C.E.O, Papali’i John Taimalelagi.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, Masinalupe admitted that it is not easy to walk away from a job he started in when he was 18. From a humble Court Clerk in 1975, Masinalupe progressed through the ranks over the years until he became the C.E.O for 15 years.
“I am so thankful to God for using me as a servant,” he said. “Without his love and guidance I wouldn’t be able to have survived these many years.
“In the beginning, I was just happy that I was able to get a job. I was committed to my job.”
Masinalupe acknowledged the support of Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, his Cabinet Ministers, his staff and the silent prayers from Samoa.
He also thanked Chief Justice, His Honour Patu Tiava’asue Falefatu Sapolu, the Judiciary and his family.
“I strongly believe that working together enabled us to move forward,” he said. “My duty as a leader was to coordinate and direct the talents possessed by the staff members to ensure that the work was done right.”
Over the years, Masinalupe said he has seen the Ministry grow. The new Court House is one of the highlights of his time.
He also remembered that when he started back in 1975, there were only two Judges for the Supreme Court, one District Court and one Land and Titles Court Judge.
But that’s a thing of the past now. With the new Court building, up to 12 different Courts can sit at the same time.
“I strongly believe, if the country doesn’t support us we will never move forward,” said Masinalupe. “If we work together, everything will be easy; my job is to make sure that everything is in place.”
One of the most challenging times for Masinalupe was 2003 when the Ministry of Justice merged with the Court Administration. He said most of the work was targeted at changing attitudes among the workers to treat all Courts with the same respect. He recalled that there was an attitude where officers of the Supreme Court felt they were more superior than the Land and Titles Court.
“So I wanted to find a way for them to work together and know that every court is important.”
The solution was found in a move to rotate the officers from Court to Court. “It worked,” he said.
Fast-forward to today, Masinalupe said the Ministry of Justice and Courts Administration is heading in the right direction.
“None of this would have been possible without God’s love,” he said. “I would never forget God’s love and guidance upon me. O faiva e tapuai a e i’u ma le manuia.”
As for the future, Masinalupe said: “My plan is to take a break. I want to spend some time doing some things at home that I’ve been wanting to do but have not been able to.”