NATION

New Methodist President Urges Reverends: Follow Code Of Conduct

Reverend Vunisuwai slammed Fiji Times reports saying the clergyman had been suspended pending investigations.
01 Mar 2021 12:03
New Methodist President Urges Reverends: Follow Code Of Conduct
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama with former President of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa and the new president Reverend Ili Vunisuwai at the Centenary Methodist Church in Suva on February 28, 2021. Photo: Kelera Sovasiga

Violation of ethical practices such as sexual assault will be dealt with severely by the Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma, as it does not condone such actions.

This is what the newly elected President of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Ili Vunisuwai warned, as he urged ministers to abide by the code of conduct of the church, no matter the circumstances.

“The church is very clear on its ethical stand on that and we stand against any sexual issues because we do not condone that type of issues,” he said.

This came about after allegations surfaced of a minister who sexually assaulted 14 young boys while serving on an outer island in the Southern Division Levuka allegations.

Reverend Vunisuwai slammed Fiji Times reports saying the clergyman had been suspended pending investigations.

“We have not received any conclusion on Police investigations on those allegations so for now we can not deal with the minister without concrete evidence from the relevant authorities,” he said.

“It is upsetting to read in the papers that we had suspended the minister. This is not true.

“I have to produce concrete evidence to the Standing Committee and then they will decide on the next cause of action.

“The normal procedures of the church begins when a report comes in from the Divisional Superintendent, that is my channel of procedure on how the person will be dealt with,” he said.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro said investigations were still ongoing and once completed, it would be forwarded to the Divisional Crime Officer East’s office.

Induction

As the new President of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Vunisuwai succeeds Reverend Epineri Vakadewavosa.

Reverend Iliesa Naivalu is the new General Secretary followed by Reverend Semisi Turagavou as the new Deputy General Secretary.

“I am thankful to the church and the Standing Committee for putting their trust in me to lead the church into the new year along with the responsibilities bestowed upon me,” he said.

“We are letting our young ministers take note of the code of conduct, that will be part of my visitation into the 59

divisional levels and circuits, to raise awareness on sexual

issues and code of conduct ,” he said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: adi.sovasiga@fijisun.com.fj



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