Rabuka: $100 handout not true

SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka. Picture: FT FILE

SOCIAL Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA) leader Sitiveni Rabuka has expressed his disappointment at a rumour in Labasa that the party was distributing $100 credit to the public this week.

In a statement, Mr Rabuka said he had been informed of rumours in Labasa Town that SODELPA would be distributing $100 vouchers to those affected by recent cyclones.

“I apologise sincerely to those in genuine need who have been misled by these mischievous rumours,” Mr Rabuka said. “It is unfortunate that as we move towards the elections, some people find it useful to spread rumours.

“These incidences are designed to confuse the public and disappoint members of our community who are in genuine need.

“This unfortunate incident is also an indication of the hardship that many of our ordinary Fijians face, given that poverty is at 28.1 per cent according to the latest Household Income Expenditure Report (HIES), while another 20 per cent are living on the margins of poverty.”

Mr Rabuka claimed the rumours also meant many people were facing extreme hardship meeting their basic needs.

“It also drastically affects their ability to recover from devastating cyclones and extreme weather events which are becoming more regular, with increased severity,” he said.

“Again I apologise for these unfortunate mischievous rumours and thank those who contacted us for clarification.”