For more than a year, Aseri Radrodro has been a domestic violence abuser occupying the position of Minister for Education without a murmur from the opposition or the women’s movement . For the past five months, he has been a “love rat” embroiled in a sex and drug scandal with his fellow cabinet minister, Lynda Tabuya, which has seen both of them lie to the Prime Minister about their sex escapades and in turn, Sitiveni Rabuka lie to the nation.
How do you solve a problem like Aseri? (With apologies to the writers of “Sound of Music”). If you’re the Prime Minister, you find a reason to get rid of him that has nothing to do with the genuine reasons he should go and certainly doesn’t involve getting rid of the other person in the sex and drug scandal who happens to be a (fallen) star in your own party. Now, that would be awkward.
Suddenly, yesterday, with the Radrodro-Tabuya sex tryst raging as one of the main topics of national conversation, certainly on social media, the Prime Minister announced out of the blue that Aseri was being dismissed as Education Minister not for almost killing his daughter when they were married or having sex with Lynda and lying about it but for disobedience and insubordination. Huh?
In his official statement, Sitiveni Rabuka didn’t say why the Minister for Education had been disobedient and insubordinate and most Fijians remain in the dark about the reasons, including readers of today’s Fiji Times. It has fallen to two of the country’s top journalists, Stanley Simpson and Lice Movono to tell us from their government sources that Aseri ignored specific instructions from the Prime Minister relating to appointments to the Council of the Fiji National University.
Oi. Sa dina? Talk about coming out of left field. So nothing to do with him engaging in “brutal” sex with your star Minister for Women and Children during an official parliamentary visit to Victoria and both of them lying about it. Nothing to do with the continuing political dead weight of having someone as Education Minister who beat your daughter to within an inch of her life when they were married? No? So he didn’t do what he was told about some board appointments. O Vinaka.
The Prime Minister and this government think the Fijian people are stupid. They are dispensing with the Minister for Education for an unrelated issue when the elephant in the room – the real issue – is how he and his lover lied to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister misled the nation when he said on September 4 that he accepted their assurances that they hadn’t had an affair.
It all seems designed to make a scapegoat of Aseri and protect Lynda Tabuya from the sex and drug scandal that has embroiled both of them. But it isn’t going to work. The evidence against Lynda is overwhelming – including evidence of drug taking – and the political position of both individuals is untenable.
So far, only one of them has been sacked. The other one deserves to be but Sitiveni Rabuka is baulking. Why? Because it seems he can’t afford politically to move against Lynda Tabuya. And as Grubsheet has reported, perhaps can’t afford to do so personally either.
Aseri Radrodro’s sacking has done nothing to make this issue go away. In PR terms, it is a “shit-show” that will continue for as long as Lynda Tabuya remains in the cabinet. And no amount of trying to create a diversion or spin it for the gormless Fijian media is going to change anything.
All it has done is to drive another wedge between the Coalition partners. Because the SODELPA management say they weren’t consulted before their man was sacked and they are not happy campers. Not at all.