A Promise, or Not?

Matata youths: Yes, it was, The People’s Alliance provisional candidate: No, it wasn’t
06 Jun 2022 12:50
A Promise, or Not?
Youths of Matata, Valenicina Settlement in Lami (from left): Peni Maseinawa, Ruthy Ranadi, Jone Tubuya, Seini Rowena, Petero Waqanitabua, Nina Bigita, Josafini Masi, Wili Tabeta, Rupeni Sevu and little Rosi Grace (front) on June 5,2022. Photo: Leon Lord

A youth group claims an election provisional candidate has promised jobs and sports opportunities in the United States, if it votes for his party.

But People’s Alliance’s Sajal Narayan denied he made the promises when he addressed Matata Settlement residents at Valenicina, Lami, on Saturday night.

He donated sports equipment to the youths.

 What did he mean?

Mr Narayan said he informed the youths what the party could do if it won the next General Election.

“What I told them is that there are opportunities,” Mr Narayan said.

“It is the same as how the Government is doing right now – sending Fijians to work in Australia and New Zealand.

“I said we can explore some other opportunities in America because there is a demand in the workforce there as well.

“There are other people from other countries working in the US then why can’t Fijians work there.

“It doesn’t have to be necessary for my family business.

“I am just saying that there are a lot of sectors that would hire our labourers because of our English and we have good skilled farmers as well that could do the same job as other countries.”

Mr Narayan said he lived in the US for 20 years and there were some avenues that might not have been tapped that he could tap into.


What he told them

Matata settlement youth, Cama Colati, 22 said they were happy with the volleyball equipment from Mr Narayan.

“He informed us that their party can provide employment especially overseas and after hearing that we have high hopes,” Mr Colati said.

“I have not decided which party I will vote for and will see what the other parties have to offer before I make the decision who to vote for.”

Another youth, Jonetani Masitabua, 22 said: “I am looking forward to voting for the second time.

“For the youths here most of us are unemployed and have no source of income and with them coming here to give us sports equipment will really help us.

“Most of the youths here were not good in school but are good in sports.”

“Mr Narayan informed us that if they win the election they would try to increase employment. They said if the youths voted for them they would provide employment for us overseas.”

Rugby league coach for USP raiders Semira Maseinawa said: “We were informed that the Government has provided assistance to people travelling to Australia and New Zealand and that he is trying to help the youths to travel to the US since he has businesses there.

“He said he would try and help them when it comes to employment and sports opportunities to build up their life.”

Petero Waqanitabua, 22 said “I grew up in this settlement and as a first time voter I am happy with what they have done. We are happy with the assistance that we have received from him.

“Mr Narayan said he would provide employment and explained that if we vote for him he would help us once he wins.

Atelaite Qalo said: “For us in Matata, the boys are playing league and the girls play volleyball. Last night Mr Narayan gave us a volleyball net and ball and the equipment for our league team will be arriving on Tuesday afternoon.

“He came to campaign and informed us what good it would be if we vote for them. He told us what they can provide when we vote for them and that they will not forget us and that he was ready to help those that were looking for employment especially for those that were school dropouts.”


Party leader response

Party leader Sitiveni Rabuka said: “I don’t know about that because it is outside the party if it would be at his family business. We are not aware of that but his father has businesses there and he worked in the US before he came to Fiji.

“Hopefully he can do it but that would be a private arrangement.”

There are about 60 youths who are first-time voters in this General Election who are living in the settlement.


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