“M.A.F. is not allowed any boots”: P.M. makes donation rules clear

Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi has warned the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries to carefully seek the neediest families out to assist them, and to not misuse the help themselves.

Speaking at the handover ceremony of 4000 boots and 500 pairs of work trousers from Australian policewoman Jo Mikarna and her year-long collection effort, Tuilaepa said he did not want anything to happen to the boots what may have happened to government distributed chainsaws.

“MAF is not allowed to receive any boots, they do not need them, and if they do, they can buy it because they get paid,” Tuilaepa said.

“We do not want anything bad to happen to the assistance that was given by this kind lady, because we need another 100 of these in the future for the benefit of people.”

Tuilaepa also said that according to his prepared speech, he should mention families, who were given chainsaws by the Government to help curb the rhino beetle issue. 

“But up until now I have not seen a report that these chainsaws have been used,” he said.

“The chainsaws were given to village mayors but so many have not used it, they must still be sitting under their beds.”

He urged the Ministry to allocate the donated resources fairly and to avoid any complaints by the public.

“I have been tired of reading so many complaints against the Government, along with me getting all the blame, but I did not do anything,” he said.

Speaking before members of the Ministry as well as dozens of village mayors, who would be responsible for the distribution of boots to needy families, Tuilaepa said perhaps a list of recipients ought to be shown first to cabinet.

“The list of the recipients should be given to Cabinet to have a look at because it is better to have 13 eyes looking at it than only three eyes – which includes the Minister, Associate Minister and C.E.O. of Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries,” he said.

Assistant Chief Executive Officer of MAF’s crops division Moafanua Tolo Iosefa said his division is responsible for the distribution of the boots, but he does intend for a higher office to confirm the list of recipients.

“You heard the Prime Minister this morning in his speech, he wants the list of all these villages given chainsaws so they can have a look at it,” he said.

“He is very critical of the way he looks around and he sees most of these villages are not doing anything, maybe he has that impression.”

Moafanua said his field officers will help him prepare reports on the neediest families, especially those who previously received assistance with chainsaws, to give up the chain of command before Cabinet may approve the list.

In the meantime, Moafanua and his team has the task of sorting the shoes into sizes, and preparing them for a streamlined distribution around the country.

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