Can it possibly be true that the Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, has made it known that if Lynda Tabuya goes as a result of the current PAP investigation into the sex scandal involving her and Aseri Radrodro that he will go too? That’s the astonishing claim being made by Victor Lal at Fijileaks from information presumably gained from his unrivalled network of sources built up over five decades of reporting events in Fiji. And it provides us with a shocking insight into how this inquiry – which hears from Lynda Tabuya herself tomorrow – is being manipulated to achieve the desired outcome of a large section of the PAP, including Rabuka, that it finds “insufficient evidence” to discipline the Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection, let alone send her to the backbench.
Lynda Tabuya herself has reportedly been telling people that she retains the full confidence of the Prime Minister and expects to be exonerated. Which explains why instead of being chastened by the allegations of a drug-fuelled sex romp with Aseri Radrodro in Room 233 of the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne during a parliamentary visit in August, she is already behaving as if she is being cleared.
Grubsheet understands that Lynda Tabuya looked as if she didn’t have a care in the world when she attended the wedding reception on Friday of the Drua and Flying Fijians star hooker Tevita Ikanivere. She was laughing, drinking and dancing the night away, which seemed decidedly odd to some of those present when she was meant to have lodged her responses to the charges against her that very day and less than 72 hours before she appears before the inquiry in person. What does she know that the rest of us don’t know? Well as it happens, lots.
1/ She evidently knows that her patron, the Prime Minister, has breached all convention to let it be known that he wants Lynda Tabuya cleared. Grubsheet understands that a whispering campaign has already begun against a prominent individual in the PAP who is insisting that proper processes be followed, with suggestions that this person should leave the Party if they can’t fall into line.
2/ Lynda Tabuya also knows that Aseri Radrodro’s wife, Sainiana, is living in fear of retribution for allegedly being the snitch that has cost her husband his reputation and his job as Minister for Education. Instead of being supported, Sainiana is being widely treated as a pariah – the ultimate injustice to a woman who has clearly been the wronged party in this scandal. Will the women of Fiji rally to her side as more and more people come to realise that Sainiana is being made a scapegoat for the sordid antics of her faithless husband and the Great Temptress in Room 233? Anyone with a conscience and any sense of decency certainly hopes so.
3/ This blatant intimidation of Sainiana Radrodro has placed a big question mark over whether she will cooperate with the PAP inquiry. Victor Lal is suggesting that there is still a possibility of her giving evidence of what she knows but Fiji being Fiji, it is much more likely that she will be frightened into silence. And if this happens, only the most fanatical Lynda Tabuya supporter will regard it as justice. Because Victor Lal provides a graphic account below of the night that Lynda Tabuya turned up at the Radrodro family home to confess to the affair and beg for forgiveness.
4/ As the person who first broke this story – that was subsequently followed up by Grubsheet, The Times of London, The Australian, the New Zealand Herald , the ABC and Radio New Zealand, among others – Grubsheet is giving Victor Lal the final say on the eve of Lynda Tabuya’s appearance before the PAP inquiry. Read it, Fiji, and be amazed that there is even a chance of her being cleared. But powerful forces led by the Prime Minister – himself a rumoured former lover – are working behind the scenes to engineer precisely that.
Don’t expect Lynda Tabuya to do a “walk of shame” into the inquiry tomorrow. She doesn’t do shame, as we have been newly reminded in recent days with her promotion of hard liquor as rugby raffle prizes in Kadavu and her defiance of the Online Safety Commission’s directive that Fijians not share the video of a child being beaten, compounding brutality with a shocking invasion of privacy.
No, Lynda Tabuya will be strutting into the room with her usual air of supreme confidence anticipating that the inquiry has been stitched up in her favour by a Prime Minister seemingly as bewitched by her as any of her many conquests over the years. And giving a figurative reverse two-finger salute to the Fijian people and anyone else who believes in proper ministerial conduct, transparency, accountability and the rule of law.
Section 27.5(b) of the PAP Constitution – which is a public document – states that “proceedings of the Legal and National Disciplinary Sub-Committee shall be held in camera or recorded and shall be conducted in accordance with the Rules of Natural Justice”.
But the big question is justice for who? Because “natural justice” demands a lot more focus on the truth that we are currently witnessing in this sordid affair. Which if Lynda Tabuya’s supporters are to be believed, is careening towards an outcome that is about as far away from justice as it could possibly be.
POSTSCRIPT: Grubsheet has been contacted by a member of the PAP Committee to say that no formal instruction has been issued by the Prime Minister to exonerate Lynda Tabuya. Let’s hope, then, that “natural justice” is the only consideration. The nation awaits.