Pensioner’s death is not normal. Where are your values Samoa?

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 17 March 2016, 12:00AM

Sometime last month, an elderly mother alleged to have been raped before she was murdered in her own home at Faleasi’u was discovered by her sister.

The 66-year-old pensioner was reportedly found naked and dead in her home. 

Folks, this is clearly the most bizarre incident to have emerged in this country for quite some time. Indeed, it’s sending a shock wave throughout Samoa, confirming what we’ve known for sometime now that there is a serious sickness that needs to be eliminated from this country.

What’s wrong with these people?

Who would do such a thing to an elderly lady?

And in Samoa? 

A church going country with people who love to talk God and love?

Where is our so-called respect, ava fatafata and va fealoa’i?

Mind you, it’s not the first time such a thing has happened on these shores.

Sometime last year, another woman – although much younger - was found naked and dead at a cattle farm at Faleula. 

Although the circumstances might have been different but it is alleged that she too was raped and beaten to death. 

Up until today, the Police are still looking for her killer.

Elsewhere last year, a drunken ex-husband of another woman woke her while she was sleeping with her children and beat her lifeless. 

The murder shocked this nation. 

Now we agree that these sorts of incidents are not new. They happen from time to time and they are not confined to Samoa.

But they are not normal and as a community, we should seriously be alarmed by it. There are some common factors to these deaths. They involve the most demeaning way of ending someone’s life and not to mention the fact that all three cases are women. These are alarming.

Now getting back to the pensioner, she apparently had lived alone because her children reside overseas. 

“We could smell her body from outside the door,” she said. “It was devastating…she was found dead on the bed with injuries (to her head).”

From what was relayed to the family member about the elderly mother’s autopsy, her throat was apparently crushed and had injuries on her head.

“I could not believe that someone could do something like that to her.”

Well we couldn’t agree more, especially since this woman was a pensioner.

On the day she was killed, she had apparently gone to the bank to take out her pension. It means she had a little bit of cash on her when someone ended her life.

This is remarkably sick. 

Whoever did this to this woman should be found and held accountable for this brutality. You see, we can understand that the culprit or culprits probably needed some cash so they thought of robbing a helpless old lady. 

But to proceed to firstly rape her before killing her, that is just hard to stomach.

It is downright sickening, nauseating stuff.

Unfortunately, this is happening far too often in Samoa. Not a week goes by without some sort sickening crime turning the stomach. As a matter of fact, as we read this, a Fijian student who was beaten on the streets of Apia five a group of nine locals is fighting for his life in New Zealand. Nine on one? That’s just  cruel.

These incidents do not reflect well on progressive Samoa. 

It does not augur well for a country that prides itself on its Christian and cultural values. These barbaric acts of violence tell a story, they speak about the contradictions within our society today.

Incidentally, think of Samoa’s high reputation in the region and the world.

Think of Samoa’s political stability unrivalled in the Pacific. Think of our culture, our values that visitors to these shores love so much. Think of our church-going nature, the Christianity values that promote love, forgiveness, compassion and mercy. They are things to be proud of.

But then bizarre incidents such as the brutal killing of an innocent mother – among other criminal activities of late - will inevitably tarnish that image. 

They also destroy the positive contributions others have worked hard to achieve.

Now we’ve said this before and we will say it again today. There is definitely something amiss in the makeup of Samoan society. We’ve become a society of contradictions. 

We say one thing and we do the opposite.

Ladies and gentlemen, these incidents are not normal. They shouldn’t be happening.

You see, when a helpless pensioner is treated with such contempt, it tells us that there is something very, very wrong with our society. It speaks of an undiagnosed ill that is screaming out to be dealt with. 

We agree that we live in an evil world. 

But don’t we also believe that when light is shone into dark places that darkness will run away? In that case, where is the light? Are we not supposed to be the light of the world?  

The question is, where are our leaders? 

Where are the government, church, village and family leaders? 

What are they doing in response? 

You’d think that this woman’s death would incite some sort of strong response to condemn such ruthless behaviour? You’d think that when a pensioner is raped that it would spark some sort of outrage especially to this issue of rape that we hear about so often from the Courts?

Alas, here we are in Samoa, by the looks of it, we are treating it as if it’s just another case. 

Oh the apathy is absolutely unbelievable. 

And this is our biggest problem today. 

We’ve become disinterested in dealing with wrongdoing; we’ve accepted that it’s normal. Ladies and gentlemen, it is not normal and we have been silent for far too long. 

Where are our values? What has happened to morality? What do we stand for anymore? Where is the restrain? Where is God in all this? Does anyone care? 

By Mata'afa Keni Lesa 17 March 2016, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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