Rumours say PM Pōhiva orders IA minister Hon Vakatā to resign

Rumours ran rife that Tonga’s Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva has ordered his Minister of Internal Affairs Hon Sōsefo Feʻao Vakatā to resign effective today at 12 pm.

The revelation had been reported on local news this morning.

However, most of Tonga’s cabinet ministers were shocked at the reports saying they have not received any official statement about Vakatā’s resignation.

Kaniva understands a complaint was lodged recently with the Prime Minister’s Office regarding Hon Vakatā.

It has claimed the minister involved in an incident in Vavaʻu last month in which a wine glass was allegedly thrown at one of his female directors.

It has also claimed the minister was allegedly drunk.

The Prime Minister is currently out of the kingdom attending the Pacific Islands Forum in Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. He was expected to return to Tonga tomorrow.

In an attempt to confirm the rumours we contacted some of the cabinet ministers including the Minister of Health Hon Saia Piukala.

After asking around other ministers Hon Piukala said none of them knew about the resignation.

Tonga’s Minister of Police Hon Pohiva Tuʻiʻonetoa told Kaniva News he has just heard about it on the news this morning.

He said he has yet to receive any official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.

It was understood the issue was raised with Hon Pohiva in Micronesia last week while he was interviewed by the manager of the Radio and Television Tonga programmes, Viola Koloamatangi Ulakai who was also at the forum.

Hon Vakatā, who has just left New Zealand for Tonga this morning after visiting Tongan fruit pickers in Australia, and Tonga’s Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet did not respond to our emails at the time this story was published.

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