The claim by the General Secretary of the E.F.K.S. Church, Reverend Vavatau Taufao, about the Government bringing back the colonialism mentality sounds like something a fa’afafine would say.
That’s what Prime Minister Tuilaepa Dr. Sa’ilele Malielegaoi said, hitting back at the General Secretary over the ongoing tax dispute between the Government and the E.F.K.S. Church.
Tuilaepa has rubbished claims by Rev. Vavatau that the Government’s law to tax the the alofa received by Church Ministers is part of a colonial mindset the H.R.P.P. Government is finding hard to shake.
The Prime Minister laughed and said the word “kolone” (colonial) in Samoan means you are being dominated by another person.
“That is what a fa’afafine would always say,” Tuilaepa said. “That man is my kolone and who knows maybe the General Secretary has a fa’afafine side.
“If he does have a fa’afafine side, he should come and join my association (Samoa Fa’afafine Association) where I am the Patron. I am a fatherly figure to the fa’afafine of Samoa.”
Tuilaepa issued the response during his weekly media programme where he said Rev. Vavatau should leave politics to the politicians.
“He should focus on reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and not get into issues he lacks knowledge of,” Tuilaepa said.
Two weeks ago, Rev. Vavatau cautioned that the “colonial mindset” the Government appears to have brought back is worrying.
“Now that they have moved to tax the pastors, it’s only a matter of time before they move to tax the matai,” he said. “If this colonial mindset is allowed to continue, when will it reach the matai, taulelea (untitled men) … but that’s my view. I’m very disappointed.”
Tuilaepa laughed at Rev. Vavatau’s claim.
“I don’t envy him,” Tuilaepa fired back.
“I don’t think he’s getting any rest as he’s busy trying to figure out what to say to please the E.F.K.S. Elders Committee.
“They are his bosses he’s obeying and that is why what he is saying is scattered all over the place.”
It was not possible to get a comment from Rev. Vavatau.