Public Service Association (PSA) General Secretary Mele âAmanaki claimed last night that actions by Prime Minister âAkilisi PÅhiva were behind attacks on her in Keleâa newspaper.
The attacks, by Keleâaâs editor and the Prime Ministerâs oldest son, Â Siaosi PÅhiva, Â came in the wake of a petition âAmanaki launched against the Prime Minister, alleging breaches of the Constitution, legislation and Parliamentary regulations.
Siaosi claimed that when âAmanaki was manager of the Dairy Processing Co. Ltd in the 1990s the company became involved in alleged fraud.
Speaking to Kaniva News, âAmanaki said Hon. PÅhiva was behind her being sacked from the dairy company.
Dairy Processing distributed locally manufactured milk products to primary school students in Tongatapu.
It was a project initiated by the then government to help promote healthy living among students.
The milk products were subsidized by the government through the Ministry of Labour and Commerce.
Keleâa alleged that in 1999 it had obtained documents which showed FWC FÄtumu Middle School and FWC Middle School Haâakame received milk products.
The editorial claimed the records were falsified to show milk was delivered to some schools which did not actually receive any dairy products.
In a detailed statement to Kaniva News, âAmanaki said claims of financial irregularity had arisen because of the activities of one or two individuals.
She said former government General Auditor, Hon. PÅhiva Tuâiâonetoa, who is now the Finance Minister had later presented an audit of the milk companyâs financial records that showed its finances were in order.
She said part of the problem was that the government had failed to fulfil its agreement with the Food and Agriculture Organisation, which supplied milk pasteurisation machinery.
âThe government was supposed to put in $1m but only paid $250,000.â
After she was sacked from the dairy company, âAmanaki was hiredÂ by the Department of Agriculture
âIn 2005 I initiated the strike which led to Cabinet agreeing to review the Constitution to form a more democratic Government,â âAmanaki said.
âThe Public Service Association was the main force behind the movement for democracy and âAkilisi knows that.
âIf I hadnâtÂ been sacked and gone to work for the Ministry of Agriculture there may have been no strike and âAkilisi may be still barking his request for reform.â
âAmanakiâs petition had garnered 3330 signatures before it was submitted to the Speaker of Parliament earlier this week.Â A copy was also delivered to the King for hisÂ information.
âAmanaki was supported by some of the PTOA Democratic Party de facto members, including âEua Peopleâs Representative TÄvita Lavemaau, unsuccessful Tongatapu 4 candidate âIsileli Pulu and former MP Teisina Fuko, a former political rival of PM PÅhiva.
They presented a copy of the petition to the Acting Deputy Secretary, Suka âOtukolo, at the Palace Office.
The petitionÂ accused seven ministers of breaching the constitution.
They are Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Akilisi PÅhiva; Minister for Infrastructure and Tourism, SÄmisiÂ Sika; Minister of Finance, PÅhivaÂ Tuâiâonetoa; Minister for Education and Training, PenisimaniÂ Fifita; Minister for Police, Revenue and Customs, MÄteniÂ Tapueluelu; Minister for Justice, VunaÂ FÄâotusia and Minister for Labour and Commerce,Â Tu’iÂ Uata.
âAmanaki and the Prime Minister clashed in January this year when he accused unnamed senior officials of corruption and impeding the work of the government.
‘Amanaki dismissed the allegations as unfounded.
The main points
- Public Service Association General Secretary Mele âAmanaki claimed last night that actions by Prime Minister âAkilisi Pohiva were behind attacks on her in Keleâa
- The attack, by Keleâaâs editor and the Prime Ministerâs oldest son, Siaosi PÅhiva, Â came in the wake of a petition âAmanaki launched against the Prime Minister, alleging breaches of the Constitution, legislation and Parliamentary regulations.
- Siaosi PÅhiva claimed that when âAmanaki was manager of the Dairy Processing Co. Ltd in the 1990s the company became involved in alleged fraud. He also alleged that she abused her responsibility while she was a civil servant.
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