Govt. sacks Village Mayor

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 12 April 2018, 12:00AM

The Village Mayor of Luatuanu’u, Autu Lolesio Tauili’i, has likened Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa'ilele Malielegaoi’s administration to that of “Adolf Hitler.”

Autu made the description after the Ministry of Women, Community and Social Development terminated his services as Village Mayor after nine years of service. 

“My position has been terminated by the Government and I’m really saddened about the way it has been done. It’s just like Hitler’s government, an absolute dictatorship,” he said.

It was not possible to ask Prime Minister Tuilaepa for a comment yesterday. During a scheduled interview for the Samoa Observer and Radio 2AP in his office, Tuilaepa declined to answer questions from the Samoa Observer. He asked that the questions be put in writing. 

The disappointed Autu said the decision to terminate his services is unacceptable.

“I say this and compare the Samoa Government to Hitler because I have been terminated without any proper notification, without any logical cause,” he said.

“Also I have not been criminally charged by the Police and we have been cooperative with the Police investigation. 

“I accept the termination and I will stand by my village,” said Autu. 

“There is no proof that can tie me to the road block and the actions by the young men in the village, yet all of a sudden I have been terminated.

“Also my termination is around the photo on the front page of the Samoa Observer last week with our High Chief, Tofete. 

“But life goes on and it is what it is,” said Autu. 

He said it is baseless to fight his termination by the Government. 

“Again it’s Tuilaepa’s Government and what he says goes, so I will sit back and enjoy my time with my family. 

“Whether we have a designated Government Village Mayor or not will not stop me from tending to my duties in the Village Council.

“Not only did the Prime Minister strip our village of the opportunities in the seasonal work scheme overseas and has also banned our rugby team from taking part in the competition, he had to also sack me as well, a decision I will abide by happily,” said Autu. 

Last week, Autu accompanied Luatuanu’u High Chief and spokesperson, Tofete Lafaaua Tofete to the Samoa Observer to set the record straight with regards to a report about their visit to the Office of the Prime Minister two weeks ago.

The purpose of their visit was to tell Prime Minister Tuilaepa to take back what he had said about their village on national TV, radio and newspapers.

“We did not go to the Prime Minister’s Office to seek forgiveness,” said Tofete. “That is not true and we want to make that crystal clear.

“He called our village dogs and we wanted him to take back his comments and issue an apology to our village.”

Tofete said the comment has caused widespread anger among Luatuanu’u villagers all over the world.

According to Tofete, when they visited the Prime Minister at his office, they were referred to the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development. 

 “Our request to see him was denied, yet he was in his office,” said Tofete. 

“Just last Thursday on 2AP, he referenced Luatuanu’u again saying that we tried to apologise, yet it was too late that the water had spilled.

“What apology is the Prime Minister talking about? We came to see him to retract his atrocious comments. 

“Luatuanu’u will never be the same after we have been labelled dogs." 

We are hurting as a village from such horrid comments uttered by the Prime Minister. 

“And we will not back down from our complaint. We have sought an attorney and we will take the Prime Minister to Court.”

The Luatuanu’u Village Council has threatened to sue the Prime Minister for defamation on Criminal Libel over his use of the word “dogs” in reference to the village.

But the village’s request to file an official complaint against the Prime Minister with the Samoa Police Service has been rejected.

By Joyetter Feagaimaali’i-Luamanu 12 April 2018, 12:00AM
Samoa Observer

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