Govt. sacks Village Mayor
A Village Mayor, who joined the Samoa Solidarity International Group (S.S.I.G.) in a protest over their concerns about land alienation in Samoa, has been sacked by the Government.
The Pulenu’u of Nofoali’i, Otemai Liu Ausage, who had also openly criticised the Government’s land laws in the Samoa Observer, was given his termination letter on Thursday this week, with the sacking effective immediately.
Signed by the Chief Executive Officer of the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development, Afamasaga Fa’auiga Palepua-Mulitalo, the letter in Samoan, dated 31 January 2019, questioned Otemai’s commitment to the Government’s agenda.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi is copied.
“The role of being the Village Representative (in Government) in accordance to the law means the person is an employee of the Government who communicates and informs villagers about the Government’s plans, especially developments for the well being of everyone,” a translation of the letter reads.
“However, Samoa and the whole world are now aware of your allegations and objections to Government policies as was printed in the Samoa Observer edition of Monday 28 January 2019.
“You have taken the lead, as the Government’s representative in the village, to object and badmouth the government with wrongful allegations, to mislead members of the public, and yet these developments are for the betterment of lives in the country and your villages.”
The Chief Executive Officer told the Village Mayor he was careless in the performance of his duties.
“Your objection and unfounded accusations against the government is negligence on your part in carrying out your duties in accordance to the law,” the letter continues.
“This is why the Ministry has decided that it is no longer appropriate that you are employed as a Government representative in the village, as you are being paid by the Government.
“Your actions and behaviour are not in line with policies and laws in place to guide the work of Village Representatives in Government.”
The Chief Executive Officer added that Nofoali’i must “appoint someone who is suitable and has the wisdom to carry out the functions of the role, so he can work together with the Government to roll out developments necessary for the well being of the village and its people.”
Asked for a comment yesterday, Otemai said he has already been in contact with his lawyer, Unasa Iuni Sapolu, to explore his options.
As for the sacking, he said it was politically motivated and he blamed Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi.
“In Samoa today, there is just too much political control from Prime Minister and his people,” he said. “It doesn’t surprise me what has happened. I don’t care about any position because the government controls everything in Samoa and that's not right.
He added: “It seems like the Prime Minister and his Ministries are trying to master and remote control us to do things they want.”
Otemai insists that his criticisms of the Government over customary land issues are legitimate and he stands by them.
During an interview with the Samoa Observer at the beginning of the week, Otemai claimed that his village has been a victim of the Government’s land possession, saying they have lost some 180 acres of land.
He said they have found out that the land has been leased and it is now the subject of a pending Court matter.
Otemai and some residents of Nofoali’i joined S.S.I.G. during their protests when the President of the Asian Development Bank visited.
The following is a copy of the letter to Otemai from the Government:
31 Ianuari 2019
Susuga Otemai Liu Ausage
Sui o le Nuu
FAAMUTAINA O LE AUAUNAGA
MAI LE TOFIGA SUI O LE NUU
E faatalofa atu i lau susuga. Ae ou te manatu o se aavanoa e faamalo ma momoli atu ai le faafetai a’o galue ai i le tofiga Sui o le Nuu mo le afioaga o Nofoalii i tausaga ua tuana’i.
O le tofiga Sui o le Nuu e tusa ai ma Tulafono (Tulafono o Mataupu Tau Lotoifale 995, Vaega 14 & 15) o le tagata faigaluega a le Malo e feso’otai ma logo puialii afioga i fuafuaga uma a le Malo, aemaise o atina’e faatino mo le manuia o tagata uma. E faapea fooi le faamamaluina ma le faatinoina o soo se tulafono ua faia mo le aatina’e o Samoa mo nei male lumana’i.
Peitai, ua logo Samoa ma le lalolagi i au tuuaiga ma lou tete’e i atina’e a le malo e pei ona lomia a i le Nusipepa o le Samoa Observer o le Aso Gafua, 28 Ianuari 2019. Ua tausolomua i lau susuga i le Sui o le Nuu lou faataute’e e ala I faasalaalauga taufaaleagaa ma tuuaiga sese, e faaseseina ai tagata lautele, ae olo’o taumafai atu atina’e e manuia ai le atunuu e aofia ai ma lo outou afioaga.
O le tete’e ma le tuua’ia o le Malo i faiga le faavaea, o le faatalale lea i le faatinoina o ou tiute e tusa o le tulafono (Tulafono o Mataupu Tau Lotoifale 1995, Vaega 14 (3)). Ua manatu aile Matagaluega ua le toe aoga ona e faigaluegaa e ala i le Tofi o le Sui o le Nuu e pei ona totogi ail au susuga e le MAlo, ona o amioga ma faatinoga ua aliali mai ua le tusa lea ma faiga faavae ma taiala olo’o lima taitaina ai galuega a le Sui o le Nuu.
Ua moomia ai ona toe filifili le paia I le afioaga, e ala i le Pule mamalu i alii ma faipule i se tasi e agavaa ma mamao le tofa e tauaveina le tofi o le Sui o le Nuu, ina mafai ona gaulue faatasi ma le Malo e faaatino atina’e aua se manuia o le afioaga ma ona tagata.
E faailoa atu ai ma le faaaloalo, ua faamuta aloa’ia i le aso, Aso Tofi 31 Ianuari 2019 lou tofiga Sui o le Nuu mo le afioaga o Nofoalii.
O loo faailoa foi mo le silafia e le susuga i le alii faipule o le itumalo e ala i le ata o lenei tusi le faaiuga a le Matagaluega i lau susuga i le Sui o le Nuu.
Ia iai pea le agaga o le Atua e faatonufolau i ou faiva ma sa matou auaunaga nei ma le aga atu i le lumanai.
Male faaaloalo tele,
Afamasaga Faauiga Palepua-Mulitalo
OFISA SILI O PULEGA
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