The calling of the turtles has made the villagers of Namuana in Kadavu world famous so it’s no surprise that Lynda Tabuya has answered the call by choosing Namuana as a bolthole to escape the national whispering campaign over her drug-fuelled sexual encounter with Aseri Radrodro.
The Minister for Women, Children and Social Protection has taken leave and returned quietly to her home island and her precious “boys” in the Kadavu Rugby Union, for whom she has been fund- raising with a raffle she shamelessly used her ministerial position to promote. It’s evidently one of the few places in the country where she can escape the knowing looks and whispered asides about what might have taken place five months ago in Room 233 of the Windsor Hotel in Melbourne.
To its credit, the Fiji Sun continues today to throw a spotlight on Lynda Tabuya’s whereabouts and the progress of the official inquiry by the People’s Alliance Party that will determine her political fate. It’s in stark contrast to the shameless cover-up at the Fiji Times, which has displayed acute bias in Tabuya’s favour with its selective reporting of the scandal. To this day, the Fiji Times – the supposed newspaper of record in Fiji since 1869 – has yet to report the fact that the Australian government’s eSafety Commissioner ordered Grubsheet to remove “intimate images” of Lynda Tabuya not because they were fake, as she has claimed, but because we didn’t have her permission to share them.
The Fiji Sun reports that the PAP inquiry will report “soon”. But its committee members would be well advised to ensure that they have all the evidence before proceeding. Victor Lal at Fijileaks says he will soon be detailing the dramatic showdown between Lynda Tabuya and Aseri Radrodro’s wife, Sainiana, in which Lynda Tabuya tearfully admitted to a sexual affair with her husband and begged for forgiveness. Until the truth of all of this is established, there is no way the PAP can clear its star recruit and Deputy Leader. Because if it does so prematurely, it risks a political catastrophe if hard evidence emerges to the contrary down the track.
PAP sources are tight-lipped about the progress of the investigation. But Grubsheet can establish that Lynda Tabuya chose to go on leave and wasn’t required to. And that the Prime Minister, Sitiveni Rabuka, is being kept fully informed on the progress of the internal investigation, as well he might considering the risks to his government if he decides to send Aseri Radrodro to the backbench but not Lynda Tabuya and fresh evidence emerges to cast the party’s inquiry as a whitewash. The whole country is talking about this affair so the government’s credibility and that of the Prime Minister is very much on the line.
Lynda Tabuya and Aseri Radrodro are in the impossible position of being unable to issue more than the barest denials of their affair. But it isn’t stopping them from shamelessly using their partners as props to maintain the pretence that nothing happened and all is well in their respective marriages. Both have changed their Facebook cover pictures to pose with their spouses. “Habibi” says Lynda (Arabic for “my love”) to accompany a picture of her Lebanese-Australian husband, Rob. And “Together as one” says Aseri Radrodro under a photograph of the love rat with his long-suffering wife, Sainiana. Let’s see how together they are after Victor Lal’s forthcoming revelations.
Meanwhile, the call of the turtles at Namuana is proving irresistible for Lynda. We now know why she might have tattoos of turtles engraved on her back – the image of which Grubsheet was forced to remove because we didn’t have her consent to use it. But are the Fijian people, and more importantly, the PAP committee, ever going to see them in real life?