NATION

Don’t Listen To Fake News, Urges Vuniwaqa

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa has urged Fijians not to listen or believe any fake news regard­ing the location of government assistance activities. She made the
12 May 2018 10:49
Don’t Listen To Fake News, Urges Vuniwaqa
Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviations Mereseini Vuniwaqa during an interview in Lautoka on May 11, 2018. Photo: Peni Komaisavai

Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa has urged Fijians not to listen or believe any fake news regard­ing the location of government assistance activities.

She made the comments after the incident at Shirley Park in Lautoka, on Thursday, where people waited in vain for hours, be­cause they were told that the Social Demo­cratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) would be handing out food rations.

The Women’s Minister made it clear that all their activities or events schedule would be made known to members of the public through their proper agents of media com­munications.

“I would like to ask members of the public not to believe any information they hear of where we will be or what we will be doing, but rather read the newspapers or call the ministry to verify,” Ms Vuniwaqa said.

She highlighted the need for people to make sure that their source of information regarding these sorts of programmes was authentic.

“People can call me on 990 8166 or the Permanent Secretary to enquire about the truth of the information because this is not the first time I am hearing about these.

“They have been calling me too and telling me that they are waiting at Shirley Park, we are not at Shirley Park,” the minister said.

She made it clear that they would not be at Shirley Park this week.

“There will be a fresh set of advertise­ments going out this weekend, and again next week, to show where we will be and that is the only information to believe.”

Ms Vuniwaqa said people should only get their information regarding government programmes and events either from the newspaper, radio or by contacting the min­istry.

Lautoka resident Kasanita Wati said she was one of those who first responded to the news.

“We were lined up for the Farm CARE as­sistance at the Agriculture Headquarters and was one of the first to come here after hearing the news that SODELPA would be handing out food rations at Shirley Park,” Ms Wati said.

She added it was not something people should be joking about, running around giving false message of hope to people liv­ing in affected areas.

“I abandoned all my home chores to be here and get help for my family, but I guess it was all fake. People should stop doing that because there are people who really need help.”

SODELPA Lautoka spokesperson Inia Qereqeretabua said he received a lot of calls on Thursday regarding the planned event at the park.

“Our party leader Sitiveni Rabuka re­leased a report stating that there was no food ration hand out organised by the par­ty,” Mr Qereqeretabua said.

“The spreading of rumors could very well be done by some individual or groups who wanted to tarnish the image of the party.”

In the confusion another rumor arose speculating that this newspaper was the cause of all the confusion.

Frustrated Lautoka man, Anand Prasad aired his disappointments regarding the confusion and how they had been misled.

“It was in the Fiji Sun newspaper,” Mr Prasad said, while talking to a group of people nearby.

However, when approached and asked which date that particular Fiji Sun news was published, he said, “I do not know, but my friends were talking about it and yes so that was how we found out and came here.”

When asked if he saw with his own eyes, he said no, adding “I heard it from a friend and because everybody is talking about it. ”

Disappointed Lautoka resident Anand Prasad discussing issues with local residents at Shirley Park in Lautoka, yesterday.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedback: peni.komaisavai@fijisun.com.fj



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