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Tonga needs $60 million to buy Shoreline

Suva, Fiji

Editor,

I am disturbed after reading the article where the government has been left with little alternative but to raise $60 million to buy power back from Shoreline. I am still pondering as to who would be kind enough to lend that kind of money after last year’s looting and burning.

Apart from trying to implement political reform, we have a power crisis. I beg to ask whether the rioting and looting aggravated the power crisis or is it just another ”worn out” problem that decided to resurf its head. If the answer to the former is yes then we ought to set a precedent which will suppress such, permanently. If the latter seems to be the problem than those who were involved should gathered and coerced to find a solution to it. We cannot afford to get innocent Tongans to be part of a solution for a problem which they were never involved in.

If my memory serves me right, Shoreline and the government in power at that time were the two principal players that had exclusive rights in deciding the fate of Shoreline. Commoners were no where close to the decision-making process. It is not fair now that innocent Tongans should carry the burden of footing the bill in forms of hefty electricity bills that well beyond their reach.

Secondly why keep Shoreline all these years when it was plainly clear that many concerns were raised about its profit-making agenda. Whether the Crown Prince at that time was involved or not should have been considered immaterial, Shoreline should have been booted out of the kingdom together with its money-making directors to pave way for other companies who can deliver services efficiently and at an affordable cost.

Innocent Tongans cannot afford to give away a huge chunk of money they receive through remittances to foot hefty eclectricity bills year after year. There are other pressing needs such as education, health and small business ventures for Tongans. Footing hefty power bills has to some extent deprived many from enjoying other benefits life has to offer.

Lastly this should serve as caution when another electricity company comes knocking at our doors offering incentives which God knows…. could turn out later to be disastrous for low income earners.

Freddy Kavaha’apai

frekava [at] gmail [dot] com