NEWS

Kadavu Villager Claims Social Welfare Officer Demanded Tabua In Exchange For Food voucher

Allegations have surfaced that a Department of  Social Welfare staff member has demanded tabua (whale’s tooth) from villagers in Kadavu in exchange for their food vouchers. Permanent Secretary for Women,
26 Sep 2016 10:13
Kadavu Villager Claims Social Welfare Officer Demanded Tabua In Exchange For Food voucher
Tabua

Allegations have surfaced that a Department of  Social Welfare staff member has demanded tabua (whale’s tooth) from villagers in Kadavu in exchange for their food vouchers.

Permanent Secretary for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Dr Josefa Koroivueta confirmed that he will now investigate the matter after it was highlighted to him by the Fiji Sun.

“The ministry is not aware about the incident but we will now conduct an investigation on the issue. The ministry will not tolerate such acts,” he said.

A Kadavu villager had spoken out on the condition of anonymity. He is benefitting under the Ministry’s Poverty Benefit Scheme, Care and Protection programme.

He claimed that a Suva-based staff member had demanded that the tabua be presented to him if he wanted his food voucher to be released on time.

The man claimed that he was not alone in this dupe. Some villagers had presented the same officer with the tabuas and their vouchers had been processed on time, he added.

Naioti villager in Yale, Kadavu said: “I am a diabetic person and I am now under medical condition. I have been staying in Suva for the last three months to do my daily reviews,” he said.

He had requested the Social Welfare Department if he could pick his food vouchers in Suva instead of it being sent to Kadavu, where it was previously dispatched.

“As of today I have not received any food vouchers for three months now. When I asked the Social Welfare staff, he told me he had sent it to Kadavu.

“When my family members checked at the Post Office in Kadavu, the vouchers were not there. Last week when I called the social welfare office again, a Social Welfare officer asked for a whale’s tooth.

“He told me if I present him with the tabua, he will process everything on time,” he said.

Under the scheme, an individual is entitled to $50 food voucher a month.

 

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  shahani.mala@fijisun.com.fj



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