The Executive Council of the People’s Alliance Party is reported to be meeting today to consider what action, if any, the party will take against Lynda Tabuya over the sex and drug scandal that is scandalising both the party and the nation.
Doing nothing is no longer an option, according to party sources, as the realisation dawns across the PAP that the leaked pictorial and text messages between the Minister for Women and Children and her lover, the now dismissed Minister for Education, Aseri Radrodro, are genuine.
Lynda Tabuya keeps maintaining the pretence that they have been generated by “artificial intelligence”. But this has not only been technically disproved. The images were obtained from Aseri Radrodro’s mobile phone. And the inarguable fact is that Sainiana – his wife – long ago received a tearful confession from Lynda Tabuya about her “brutal” sex tryst with her husband and both a verbal and written apology.
Lynda’s public statements on the affair have glaringly excluded any denial, either that she was having sex with Aseri Radrodro or whether the explosive texts between them, including their reference to drug use, are authentic. She has so far confined herself to a claim to the Police and the Fiji Times that one of the four images published by Grubsheet and Fijileaks is not contemporary and has been on the Internet since 2014. But so what?
As this scandal gains momentum, Lynda Tabuya’s legs are being cut from beneath her. And on the eve of the PAP Executive meeting, Victor Lal at Fijileaks has introduced a potent new angle to this story – reports that when asked where she obtained the drugs that are referenced in the text messages, Tabuya alluded to them being carried in a “diplomatic bag”.
If this is indeed the case, then this scandal has not only engulfed the two individuals involved and the government’s political fortunes but threatens to spread into a scandal involving Fiji’s diplomatic service. Did Lynda Tabuya use diplomatic channels to take “weed” – marijuana – from Fiji with her when she went with a parliamentary delegation to Melbourne and did those drugs fuel her scandalous conduct in Room 233 of the Windsor Hotel?
This alone warrants an official inquiry into this episode. But there is already sufficient evidence for the PAP to institute disciplinary proceedings against Lynda Tabuya for misconduct and for bringing the party into disrepute.
However much the central issues are being muddied by the disinformation campaign being conducted by Lynda Tabuya and her supporters, there is inarguably hard evidence of her misconduct. And the wider question is the manner in which she and Aseri Radrodro have compromised not their own positions but the integrity of the government as a whole. They lied to the Prime Minister when he asked them about rumours of their affair. And he in turn misled the nation in his statement of September 4.
That is something that is going to haunt the Coalition all the way to the next election. And the more hard-headed members of the PAP Executive Council know it. Saving Lynda Tabuya isn’t going to save the People’s Alliance or the Coalition as a whole. Reports are circulating that the NFP leader, Biman Prasad, is telling people that he believes the images and text messages are genuine. Which means he too is concerned about the electoral impact on the NFP.
So to follow is this morning’s recap of events by Victor Lal, including the reference to drugs being conveyed in diplomatic bags. By any standards in any democracy, no minister can survive such a narrative. And for any PAP member who believes in integrity, let alone longevity, doing nothing is no longer an option. Lynda Tabuya must go.