(L-R) Māteni Tapueluelu, Siaosi Pōhiva, Dr Tu'i Uata, PM Pōhiva Tu'i'onetoa

[maxbutton id=”2″ ] Prime Minister Dr Pohiva Tu’i’onetoa said even though he quit the Democratic Party last year, the PTOA had not stopped hounding him.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa, whose name has been at the centre of an ongoing feud among Democrats, said he did not want to be dragged into the party’s saga, even though  they had called him “heke” (betraying the party by crossing the floor) and hungry for power.

He denied these accusations in an exclusive interview with Kaniva News this week.

The Prime Minister’s name resurfaced two weeks ago when former Cabinet Minister and Party member Dr Tu’i Uata claimed the Party made a last ditch attempt to bring Hon Tu’i’onetoa back after he left the Party last year and before the premiership election but it failed because MP Mateni  Tapueluelu refused to join them as planned.

Dr Uata also claimed Dr Tu’i’onetoa scolded Hon Tapueluelu in a party meeting after former Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva died. The Prime Minister said this was true. He said Dr Uata was true in what he said in his response to MP Tapueluelu.

Dr Uata claimed the Party agreed to nominate Hon Tu’i’onetoa as Deputy Prime Minister but Hon Tapueluelu disagreed.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa was a member of the PTOA party and was appointed Minister of Customs and Revenue and later  Minister of Finance before Hon. ‘Akilisi died last year.

READ MORE:

Hon Tui’onetoa said there was a conspiracy to get rid of him from the Party after Akilisi’s death.

He claimed the former Prime Minister’s son-in-law, Hon Tapueluelu, was hungry for the premiership and that the allegations of an arranged nomination for the Deputy Premiership that have been swirling in public for some time was a calculated move designed to prepare MP Siaosi Pohiva for the Premiership election in the next election.

He claimed MP Tapueluelu was domineering and when he was in a temper he scolded ‘Akilisi while the Cabinet ministers present.

He said Hon Tapueluelu emailed and cursed him after he won the premiership election last year. Tapueluelu also called him heke and hungry for power.

PTOA Party in disarray  

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said Dr Tu’i Uata was correct when he said he told the first PTOA’s meeting after ‘Akilisi’s death to stand together and leave everything as it was so they could win the premiership election and complete ‘Akilisi’s terms.

He said he did this because he respected ‘Akilisi.

“I told them let’s not rock the boat,” PM Tu’i’onetoa said.

“Let’s create a constitution for us to follow so that we are organised.”

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said they did not believe in him so he told them he quit.

He told them he has been through the same failed scenario before and he did not want to go through it again.

He said he told the Party before he left they would row about who would have the power and would end up in disarray.

“I went back home and told my wife I will hold on to being an MP and not being a Cabinet minister during my next two year-term before I quit politics,” he said.

People’s Party

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said he quit the party before the nobles approached him to set up the People’s Party.

“That’s God’s plan and I am thankful for that,” he said.

He said the PTOA party greatly missed ‘Akilisi, but he was dead and they were living in the past.

“Siaosi and Mateni were not ‘Akilisi,” he said.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa claimed they struggled for power as if it was a family possession.

They only preached about ‘Akilisi’s democratic visions, but never brought them down to application level and create any course of actions to physically benefit the people.

They have criticised us and our roading project but that’s people’s top priority, he said.

“We have done that,” the Prime Minister said.

“We went and met with all the 17 constituencies and asked them to tell us their urgent needs and they told us their first priority was roading.”

He said the only policy the PTOA had was the political reform which saw the king’s power be diminished, but at the same time they were fighting to see who got the most power.

Plan to dismiss Chief Secretary

He also accused ‘Akilisi’s son Siaosi, PTOA supporter Piveni Piukala and MP Tapueluelu of plotting to dismiss the Chief Secretary and Secretary to Cabinet Edgar Cocker.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said these three attended a meeting in his house at Niutao and were unhappy about Cocker releasing information claiming ‘Akilisi was seriously ill and would not recover. They were supported by former Minister of Health, MP Saia Piukala.

He claimed it was Tapueluelu who moved for the meeting  to dismiss Cocker.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa, Tonga’s former Auditor General said he intervened and told them there was a procedure for dismissing somebody from the civil service.

“You can’t just get angry with somebody and fire him. There has to be good reasons for the dismissal and there’s a process for it,” he said.

Because of the former Minister of Health’s involvement, Hon Tu’i’onetoa said he believed ‘Akilisi was not seriously ill.

He said he just found out after ‘Akilisi’s death that he allegedly had cancer.

He said things had been kept secret and he only found out about ‘Akiliksi’s resignation plan after his death.

He said the meeting at Niutao was meant to be only for MPs, but Piveni and Siaosi attended and they appear to have been trying to control the meeting.

Pacific Meeting Forum

Hon Tu’i’onetoa said they left  with ‘Akilisi and Cocker to attend the Pacific Forum Meeting in Tuvalu last year, a few weeks before the former Prime Minister died.

They received a message from Tonga that the Cabinet would propose the Public Service Commission dismiss Cocker.

He said Cocker came to him as they were in the same room very distraught about the message.

“I told him let’s pray and let God handle it as he perceives everything.”

Tapueluelu did not respond to our request for comment and Siaosi said he did not believe in addressing issues between him and Tapueluelu over the media.

Ko e ongoongo’ ni ‘i he lea faka-Tonga (This news in Tongan)

Koe’uhī na’e ‘i ai ha ngaahi ongoongo heni ne ‘ohake ai e hingoa ‘o e ‘Eiki Palēmia’ ‘i ha fekihiaki ‘a Dr Tu’i Uata mo Mateni Tapueluelu pea pehē kia Siaosi Pōhiva ‘i tu’a pea to’o mai ‘e he Kaniva ‘o lele’i, na’e pau faka’eke’eke ai ‘e he Kaniva’ ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia’. ‘Oku mahu’inga e tali ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia’ koe’uhī he ‘e maama ai e ngaahi me’alahi kau ki he palopalema ko ‘eni kuo hoko he PTOA mo e toki ‘ilo ‘e he tokolahi ta na’e mole ‘a e pule’anga hili e mate ‘a ‘Aklisi Pōhiva ko e tupu mei he ‘uakai mafai ‘a ha ni’ihi pe ‘o e kau PTOA, hangē ko ia ne fetukuaki ai ‘a Dr Tu’i Uata, Siaosi mo Māteni’.  

Ko e tali ‘eni ‘a e ‘Eiki Palēmia Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa ‘a ia na’e fai hono ki’i ‘ētita’i pea toki pulusi ko ‘eni’:  

“Oku ikai foki te u fie kau au he tau lau a e PTOA he na’aku ‘osi nofo au mei ai he ta’u kuo ‘osi, ka ko ho’o fehu’i mai Kalino, fakataha moe tukuaki’i au ‘e Mateni Tapueluelu ko u heke, kimu’a eni ia pea toki fai a e fili Palemia, na’e ‘asi mai ia ho’o ‘ātikolo he Kaniva, o tukuaki’i au oku ou fie Palemia, pea ‘e mole a e Pule’anga ki he Hou’eiki ko eku fie Palemia. Pea toe fai tohi mai ‘o talatuki’i au ‘e muimui ‘a e mala ‘iate au, hili a enau fo’i he fili Palemia. Pea na toki ke naua mo Tu’i Uata koeni. Lolotonga ‘enau kemipeini ke lava ‘a Siaosi Pohiva he fili Fale Alea Vahenga Kolomotu’a, na’a na luo taha pe mo Siaosi Pohiva he tala ‘eku heke, pea ‘oku ‘ikai ko ha taha au ke fai ki ai ha falala, he ‘oku ou fiema’u mafai ko e me’a ia na’aku heke ai ‘o kau mo e Hou’eiki?  Pea ko’eni ‘oku toe kau pe hoku hingoa he fakamatala ‘a Mateni Tapueluelu pea mo e fakamatatala ‘a Tu’i Uata, ‘i he’ena kee, ‘o tukuaki’i ‘e he tama koe a e pea tama ko e a ee.

Ko hono mo’oni oku mo’oni ange ‘a Tu’i Uata he me’a koia na’e hoko ‘i he’emau fakataha. Pea ne u ‘osi ‘ilo foki ‘e au kimu’a he’emau fakataha, kuo nau ‘osi alealea ke tuku au ki tu’a. Hange pe ko ia na’e fakamatala ki ai ‘a Tu’i. Ko e taimi ia koeni kuo kamata ke fai tu’utu’uni pe ‘a Mateni ia ‘iate kimautolu, he na’e kamata fuoloa pe ia, ka ‘ita pe ‘a Mateni ia ‘ia ‘Akilisi lolotonga ’emau Kapineti, te ne tafulu’i pe ‘e ia ‘a ‘Akilisi, ka mau fesiosiofaki kimautolu, ki he utua pehe a e fiepule. Pea na’a nau tu’u fakataha pe mo Siaosi mo Piveni, hange ko e loto ‘a Siaosi mo Piveni  ke tuli ‘a Edgar Cocker, tokua ‘oku fie pule mo ‘ene tala ki he kakai oku puke lahi ‘a ‘Akilisi, ‘e ikai toe sai, ka e toutou ‘ave pe ki muli. Me’a eni na’e hoko ‘i he fakataha ‘i hoku ‘api nofo’anga ‘i Niutao. Pea kau mo Saia Piukala he poupou fefeka, pea u pehe koe’uhi ko e Toketa ‘a Saia Piukala, oku loi a e pehe ‘oku puke lahi, he na’e ikai ke u ‘ilo ‘e au pehē tokua na’e kanisā.  Mou sio ange ki he fakapulipuli a e me’a na’e fai, a’u ki he ai a e tohi fakafisi, ko e toki ilo pe ia ‘e au na’e iai ‘a e me’a pehe he ’emau valau holo kuo ‘osi pekia ‘a ‘Akilisi. Talaange ‘e Mateni te ne fokotu’u e ia ki he Kapineti ke tuli ‘a Edgar. Ko e fakataha eni a e kau Fakafofonga, ka na’e huhu’i hake ai ‘a e Siaosi mo Piveni, ‘o hange pe ke na pule’i enaua ‘a e fakataha. Koau pe na’a ku talaange ke tuku, he oku oku ou anga he me’a koia he na’a ku ‘atita, ‘Oku ‘ikai te te ‘ita pe ha taha pea te tuli. ‘Oku pau ‘oku iai ha uhinga lelei mo mamafa, pea ‘i ai mo hono processes totonu.

‘Alu au mo ‘Akilisi, mo Edgar ki Tuvalu he Pacific Forum Meeting, ngaahi uike si’i ki mu’a  pea pekia ‘a ‘Akilisi, ma’u ange ‘a e tala mei Tonga ni, kuo tu’utu’uni a e Kapineti ke fokotu’u ki he PSC ke tuli ‘a Edgar mei he ngaue. Humai ‘a Edgar, ‘o lea mai sio atu au mei tu’u a e mafu ‘o Edgar, he’ene fakamatala mai kiate au. Pea u talaange kia Edgar, punou ke fai ha’ata lotu, he na’ama loki taha pe, tuku ia ki he ‘Otua ‘oku ne ‘afi’oi a e me’a kotoa pe. Ko e ‘Otua ‘oku ha’u mei ai hotau tokoni, he ta’ofi ‘e he ‘Otua, kohai te ne toe lava ke liliu. Fakafeta’i na’e ‘ikai malohi a e Setane ‘ia Satai, pea oku te’ekiai ikuna tu’o taha ‘a Setane ‘ia Satai.

.Kuo nau movete he taimi ni, ka na’a nau fokotu’utu’u a e me’a kotoa ki he halanga ‘o e PTOA ki he Kaha’u. Koe ai ‘o Semisi Sika ke Deputy pea Taki, ko e heliaki pe ka e lava ke hoko hake ‘a Siaosi he 2021 ‘o taki pea fili Palemia. Me’a pango, toe fie Palemia pe mo Mateni ia.  Mo’oni ‘a Tu’i, na’a ku tafulu’i ‘a Mateni he’emau fakataha, koe’uhi kuo u ‘osi ilo ‘e au a e fa’ufa’u ke tuku au ki tu’a. Ka na’a ku faka’ap’apa’i ‘a ‘Akilisi, pea u talaange ‘oua te tau ue’i ha me’a (rock the boat.) Kae fa’u ha Konisitutone ke tau fononga ai koe’uhi ke tau maau. Na’e ‘ikai te nau tui mai kiate au, pea u talange ‘alu eni ia ki homau ‘api. Ko u a’u mai pe ‘o talaange ki hoku hoa, te u hoko atu pe he Fale Alea, ka he’ikai te u toe minisita, he fo’i ta’u e ua oku toe , pea u malolo ai kuo fe’unga ‘a e politiki. Toki hoko kotoa kimui ‘a e talanoa mo e Houeiki, he na’e ‘ikai palani’i ia ‘e ha taha, ta ko e ko e palani ia ‘a e ‘Otua , pea oku ou fakafeta’i ai. Ka na’aku tala ange, kimu’a pea u ‘alu ki tu’a, te mou ke pea te mou movete. Ko u ‘osi fou mai au he halanga tatau koena oku ‘amanaki ke mou fou ai,  pea he ‘ikai te u toe fou tuo ua au ai, koe’uhi te mou toe ke pe he mafai, pea te mou movete pe .

Ko e core team a e PTOA ‘oku nau ongo’i aupito e mole ‘a Akilisi, ‘oku nau kei hēhē’ia pe he kuohili ka kuo mate ‘a ‘Akilisi ia. ‘Oku ‘ikai ko Akilisi ‘a Siaosi, pe ko Mateni. ‘Oku’ na taufefusi he mafai’, hange ko ha koloa fakafamili ia ‘anautolu. Ko enau me’a pe oku fai ko e tala pe a e ngaahi visone ‘a Akilisi, ene lelei mo faka’ofo’ofa, ka e ikai ke nau tu’u hifo ‘o fakakaukau’i ha ngaue ke fai ke fakafuo mo fakasino mai ai a e ngaahi visione mo e ngaahi fakakaukau (concepts) oku lau pe oku ‘uhinga ki he ha. Nau kei nofo pe he kuohili ‘o misi ki he kaha’u, mo fakaanga holo pe kia kimautolu, oku hala emau ngaahi ngaue ko ē, hala ’emau tanu hala,  ‘a e me’a oku fika ‘uluaki ki he kakai’, na’a mau ‘osi ‘alu ‘o ‘eke he feitu’u kotoa he vahenga fili koeni ‘e 17, ko ‘enau tali tatau aipe – ke tanu honau hala’. Kuo nau ‘alu ‘o fai pehe? Hala’ata ko e fakaanga pe mei he tefito’i niu; ka e ikai ‘omi ha fo’i ngaue ko e  fetongi ‘oku saiange, tukukehe pe a e feinga to’o mafai ‘o e Tu’i, koia pe oku mahino mai, ‘a e ‘uakai mafai. Ka ‘oku nau taufefusi pe kohai te ne ma’u e mafai lahi taha ‘iate kinautolu.