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Usamate Says, Opposition Mps Comment On President Distasteful

Mr Usamate said the President’s address was on point and right on target and high­lighted important issues, that were criti­cal right now, and which in turn were na­tional priorities for the Government.
03 Dec 2021 14:32
Usamate Says, Opposition Mps Comment On President Distasteful
Minister for Infrastructure Jone Usamate in Parliament on December 2, 2021. Photo: Parliament of Fiji

The Opposition was likened to a snake by the Minister for Infra­structure Jone Usamate when he pointed out the disrespect shown by par­liamentarians towards the President Ratu Wiliame Katonivere.

“I find it immensely distasteful therefore when I hear disrespectful comments made about the Gone Turaga na Tui Macuata,” he said.

“And such disrespect has come from those who in this Parliament have repeat­edly purported to uphold respect accorded to chiefs — they thank him for his most gracious address, and then Mr Speaker Sir, in the same breath they belittle him… — this Mr Speaker Sir is two faced, forked tongue speaking. Absolutely despicable, disgraceful.

“And on that note I appreciate the Hon, Bulitavu for supporting his chief, a high chief of Vanua Levu to ascend to this role.”

Mr Usamate said the President’s address was on point and right on target and high­lighted important issues, that were criti­cal right now, and which in turn were na­tional priorities for the Government.

“His address has been a sharp reminder of why we are here. His words have been timely and they need to penetrate deep into our minds and our conscience — and it needs to do so to all of us in this house—and to all the people of this country,” he said.

He said 2006 allowed for the concerted ef­fort to fix issues regarding democracy in this country which mainly were the divi­sion among ethnicities and among reli­gions.

“Our problems were institutional and systemic, they have had to be addressed systemically and by rectifying institu­tions,” he said.

“The 2013 Constitution has laid that foundation,” Mr Usamate said.

“Inequality is not an ethnic issue, it is a class issue between the have(s) and the have not(s)—poverty is not limited to any ethnic group or any religious group—it transcends these boundaries.

“Should our focus on addressing poverty change because of any particular ethnic group being the ones suffering from pov­erty more than another, No, we focus on all who are in poverty equally.”



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