Dear Prime Minister, Reverend Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa,
Thank you for explaining to us, Tongan people, the Act of Constitution of Tonga (Amendment Act) 2013 during your recent video broadcast. And thank you for reminding everyone that the Constitution in Tonga is not the same as any other country in the world.
Yes, I understand why you want to confirm that you have no right to intervene in such matter - because of the Constitution. You gave a good presentation, though a bit tense, nervous or emotional perhaps; but you did well to get through reading out your statement without any question from the only journalist present.
However, after all the hard work that you put in, you flipped and spoilt it all by your allegation that many other schools in Tonga had involved in similar criminal activities, especially the church schools, just like 'Etuate and 'Akosita’s school! In other words, you confirmed that Etuate and Akosita Lavulavu did commit serious crimes but you didn’t understand why they were the only ones that have been prosecuted!
This is a serious accusation! something that I find absolutely unbelievable; that the Rev. Prime Minister of Tonga confirmed on air that yes, other schools did it too! Yet during your years as a civil servant, you did nothing about it? This must be investigated and taken to the Court of Law. You must report this to the Police, Rev. Prime Minister, so that a full investigation can be carried out.
TVET aided by overseas taxpayers
Another important point to highlight here is that you never said once during your broadcast where the funds which were fraudulently claimed by 'Etuate and 'Akosita Lavulavu came from. My understanding is that Australia and New Zealand send annual financial aids to pay for TVET school programmes in Tonga. So, thank you to all those countries around world for providing grants to Tonga so that the government can function properly. In that respect, I would like to point out that foreign aids actually come from foreign taxpayers’ pocket abroad. Therefore, it is vitally important that financial dealings must always be well documented and funds are spent according to agencies’ agreements.
The Lavulavus’ court cases do not enhance the government reputation and the way the political elite in the Kingdom operate. Sad to say Prime Minister, that in your attempt to make light of the Lavulavus’ guilty verdict, you cunningly brought to the attention of the public and the world, that other schools were involved in these criminal activities. It is now your duty as the PM of Tonga to get a full investigation going. You owe it to all foreign aid donors, to explain what Tonga had done with the funds and you owe it to every school that you have now accused, by giving them a chance to clear their names and set the record straight.
And finally, I personally accept the Act of Constitution of Tonga (Amendment Act) 2013. Let us all wait and see what happens next; hopefully it will go through the legal system before the next election!