Church members to call for reimbursement

By Ilia L. Likou 24 April 2017, 12:00AM

Many parishes of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa are now ready to make a call at the Fonotele this year.

The call, is for the mother church to pay former General Secretary, Dr. Afereti Uili from the time he was stripped of all his roles in the church over an allegation of a sexual nature made by a woman identified as Angeline Lesa. 

This was confirmed by one church member who spoke to Samoa Observer on condition of anonymity.

“That is - to pay Dr. Afereti from the time he stepped down from his roles until justice was served at last,” the source said.

“Yes, he was on leave without pay from the whole time he stepped down from his role as General Secretary of the church.

“This is normal in our church. There are always opportunities for church members to raise whatever matter that they want to present at the fono every year.

“What I’ve heard is that there are lot of parishes in Samoa and overseas that are now ready to present this to the fono this year.

 “But this has to go first to the Fonotele for formal approval before further action.

The Supreme Court’s decision to give consent by judgment as a result of mediation between the two parties ended the longstanding fight by Rev. Afereti to clear his name. 

In January this year, the Elders Committee of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (C.C.C.S) reinstated Reverend Dr. Afereti Uili as a Pastor of the church.

The decision was made and relayed to the sacked former Secretary General of the Church during a meeting. 

Speaking to the Samoa Observer at the time, Rev. Afereti acknowledged the decision by the Elders Committee.

 “Firstly, I want to thank the church for their decision,” he said. 

“What’s very important to me is the fact that they reviewed their decision and made it right.”

Rev. Afereti said he had only been reinstated as a Pastor but he had not been allocated a church to look after. There were other roles he held within the church which had not been returned to him.

“The most important thing is that they have reinstated my position as a Reverend. I’m very happy with that,” he said. 

“As you recall, the last time we spoke I expressed how hurt I was because of the decision they made."

“Today I don’t want talk about how deep that pain was because of what happened but I’m just grateful and happy that they have reinstated me.”

With the allegation resolved and the reinstatement by the Elders Committee he was asked if he was considering suing the church for his sacking.

He said: “To be honest I’ve never thought of that."

“It doesn’t mean that the possibility is not been there but I never thought about that at all. Who knows what tomorrow and the future holds for us? We never know.” 

Rev. Afereti also continued to stand by his plea of innocence." 

“Even though I pleaded with the Elders of the church at that time that I didn’t do anything wrong, they stood by their decision.

He also admitted had been the toughest time of his life and that of his wife and children and expressed gratitude to everyone for their support and continuous prayers.

Rev. Afereti said they too were innocent victims of the circumstances.

By Ilia L. Likou 24 April 2017, 12:00AM

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