Electricity Commission dismissal, complaints, escalate into war of words on internet

Complaints by dismissed Electricity Commissioner Interim CEO Paula Tupou have escalated into a war of words on the internet with the man who fired him, Finance Minister Pōhiva Tu’i’onetoa.

As Kaniva News reported, Hon Tu’i’onetoa terminated Tupou’s contract with the EC, claiming he was unable to perform his functions of the office of the Commission.

Hon Tu’i’onetoa complained that he had received too many e-mails from Tupou after he was sacked.

The Minister told Tupou he believed he was troubled by his dismissal and begged him to cool down.

The Minister told Tupou in an e-mail that he had complained about the appointment of outgoing lawyer Seinimili Tu’i’onetoa Fonua, claiming it was illegal, but said  Cabinet had the power to appoint her.

As we reported, the Minister of Finance said his appointment of his niece, Fonua, as a Commissioner of the Electricity Commission did not breach the government’s employment regulations.

However, Tupou rejected the Minister’s claims.

“You will not be tried by the Cabinet. You will be tried by a Judge according to Law not according to Cabinet decisions,” Tupou claimed.

Complaint to Ombudsman

Tupou has also lodged a formal complaint against Hon Tu’i’onetoa with the ombudsman.

He claimed the Minister breached the Public Service Act 2010 (Section 19), code of ethics and conduct for the public service rules by allowing Fonua to be a commissioner for more than nine months.

He claimed the Minister had the sole authority, according to the Act, to dismiss Electricity Commissioners for misconduct and he had failed to dismiss Fonua until what he claimed was her illegal employment was exposed in the media and forced her to resign on August 2.

For more information

New EC commissioners appointed; govt terminates Interim CEO Paula Tupou’s contract

Lawyer Fonua resigns amid PSC probe; EC complains to Tonga Law Society

Two at centre of probe into electricity body to face each other in court

Sometimes when a business is growing, it needs a little help.

Right now Kaniva News provides a free, politically independent, bilingual news service for readers around the world that is absolutely unique. We are the largest New Zealand-based Tongan news service, and our stories reach Tongans  wherever they are round the world. But as we grow, there are increased demands on Kaniva News for translation into Tongan on our social media accounts and for the costs associated with expansion. We believe it is important for Tongans to have their own voice and for Tongans to preserve their language, customs and heritage. That is something to which we are strongly committed. That’s why we are asking you to consider sponsoring our work and helping to preserve a uniquely Tongan point of view for our readers and listeners.

Latest news

Related news