Analysis | Politics

Qereqeretabua’s Curse On FijiFirst MPs, Descendants, Backfires, Withdrawn

NFP leader Biman Prasad gets credit for reigning her in and turns his leadership fortunes around
10 Sep 2019 12:10
Qereqeretabua’s Curse On FijiFirst MPs, Descendants, Backfires, Withdrawn
Opposition Member of Parliament Biman Prasad and Lenora Qereqeretabua outside Parliament on September 6, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Analysis:

First, she uttered iTaukei swear words then translated them into English in Parliament.

Then on social media, she cursed FijiFirst Government ministers and their descendants.

On both occasions, it was linked to the Bainimarama-Tikoduadua incident.

National Federation Party member Lenora Qereqeretabua earned the distinction of becoming the first MP in our Parliament to descend to a new low in political debates.

Her distasteful outbursts showed her lack of political experience and maturity in handling sensitive issues of such nature.

So much so that her leader, Biman Prasad, spoke out saying the NFP did not condone the use of the word curse.

It is a credit to him for correcting her in a sensitive issue despite some of her loyal fans criticising him for not standing with her on social media.

It may have redeemed his leadership style after he led the NFP walkout last Friday with Sitiveni Rabuka’s SODELPA’s MPs.

It is understood some senior members in his party say the walkout contradicts the policies and past practices of the party.

In the 1990s when Mahendra Chaudhry used to lead the Fiji Labour Party to boycott Parliament against the Rabuka Government, then NFP leader Jai Ram Reddy remained and worked with Mr Rabuka to enact the 1997 Constitution.

Mr Prasad has gained some points and turned his fortunes around after reining in Ms Qereqeretabua.

On the sensitivity issue, she has offended many people first on the cultural front and now on the religious front.

Those cursed on her list are identified by their first names and most are Government ministers and their families.

Some of those named are shocked by Ms Qereqeretabua’s post on social media.

They cannot understand why Ms Qereqeretabua had descended so low to include their families, their children and grandchildren, who are innocent.

The question: What kind of Christian ideology allows her to curse people?

Assistant Minister for iTaukei Affairs Selai Adimaitoga says it’s a shame that she has cursed innocent children as well.

It is unacceptable, she says.

Alvick Maharaj, Assistant Minister for Employment, Productivity and Industrial Relations and chairperson of the Justice, Law and Human Rights Committee says: “Lenora Qereqeretabua has lost her respect as honourable member in front of my eyes, the moment she stooped so low to curse my family and my descendants, along with other FijiFirst MPs.

“By doing so, it proves that NFP members have no respect for others or for their family members. The worse thing is they think they can get away with it.

“I leave it to Fijian and NFP supporters to judge – do we need such a member in Parliament, who goes ahead to curse others and their family members. What do my family or my descendants have to do with what transpired in Parliament last week or in the Privileges Committee.”

Others named on her list say they do not want to comment publicly because they would give importance to her statement.

 

Ms Qereqeretabua’s curse was in her original post titled “Justice Fiji style.” She said a staff of Parliament who shot the video of the incident in question was told to tender his resignation. She accused FijiFirst MPs of depriving him of his livelihood.

“May you Alex, Mereseini, Inia, Semi, Selai, Ashneel, Jone, Alipate, Osea, Voreqe, Rohit. Mahen, Parveen, Veena, Rosy, Alvick, Ifereimi and all in your cohort and your descendants forever be cursed for your choices.”

They had nothing to do with the staff resigning. It was an employment matter between the staff concerned and the Secretary-General of Parliament.

So all those named have a legitimate concern over her curse because they have been unfairly attacked.

All civil servants are bound by rules that prevent them from disseminating sensitive and confidential information. The staff in question breached the rule and faced the consequences of his action. He can seek redress, if he has a grievance, in a court of law.

This is a constitutional provision available to all workers. Some workers in the private and public sectors have won their cases in the employment court.

The staff member’s resignation had followed the normal processes of the law.

To blame the FijiFirst MPs and curse them and their families is not only irresponsible it’s nonsensical and arrogant.

As a Christian, she should know that we cannot be callous in the use of the word curse because of what it means.

To curse someone is to condemn him or her indefinitely.

It’s even worse when you drag in their children and posterity.

Curse is an offensive word or phrase used to express anger or annoyance.

It is also described as a solemn utterance intended to invoke a supernatural power, in this case, God, to inflict harm or punishment on someone or something.

She has now edited her original post, replacing the word cursed and descendants with “you all happy?”. She adds: “Hon Tikoduadua sleeps peacefully each night because he chose integrity and justice over pay packets and lies. Jehovah Nissi is my banner.”

It shows that her post, old and the new, reflects her biblical knowledge. She has withdrawn the contentious words after protests not only from Mr Prasad but also from others.

But her poor judgement will remain as a stain on her political career.

Feedbacknemani.delaibatiki@fijisun.com.fj

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