Toesulusulu to be charged, Samoa Parliament agrees

APIA — Parliament yesterday morning passed a motion to have A’ana Alofi No. III MP, Toesulusulu Cedric Schuster referred to the Attorney General’s Office for possible court charges.

In a ministerial address, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi pointed out that Toesulusulu could be found in breach of his oath of office due to his involvement with the Satapuala road block last Thursday.

“The oath we all took is to bear our complete allegiance to the sovereign state of Samoa, to its people through our service to this Legislative Assembly,” said the Prime Minister. “That allegiance is supreme to any of our personal loyalties to our families, our villages and our districts.”

Under Section 14 of Parliament Standing Orders, the Prime Minister said, MPs are obligated to abide by the law and conduct themselves in a manner that is “expected of national leaders.”

“There have been many MPs in the past who were suspended and expelled from this House and even served life prison sentences for breaking the law.”

The Prime Minister described the Satapuala road block last week – manned by untitled men armed with guns and machetes who stopped cars and shone flashlights in drivers and passengers faces – as treasonous, shameful and a blot on the country’s good name.

“It is no secret that I arrived in the country that night and it coincided with the erecting of stonewalls on the main road at Satapuala and the stopping of cars and the searching of passengers. Who were they (Satapuala) looking for?

“We all know nothing in the village happens without the consent and the urgings of the matai. It is reported that the MP of A’ana Alofi III was among them.”

The Prime Minister said Satapuala had already been “over compensated” by the New Zealand administration back in the 1940s.

“The New Zealand government legally took 865 acres to build the international hospital and exchanged it for 1070 acres that was transferred to Satapuala, where that village is now. That is an additional 205 acres for the village.

“Satapuala has yet to fully develop that 1070 acres.”

With the absence of natural resources, successive governments have held on to these public lands for the development of our country.

“That fact was never lost on our previous national leaders and successive government. This government and others that will come after it will hold on to all those public lands to ensure the continued development of this country and a prosperous future for our people.”

[Samoa News editor’s note: This story was first published by the Samoa government owned newsapper Le Savali, whose editor Tupuola Terry Tavita, granted permission to reprint in the Samoa News]


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