Party clarifies food voucher issue

SODELPA Lautoka Branch Vice President Inia Qereqeretabua (left) speaks to the people at Shirley Park in Lautoka. Picture: REINAL CHAND

MEMBERS of the public again converged at Shirley Park in Lautoka yesterday, despite being told that no food voucher distribution would take place. From Monday, people have been congregating at the park to wait for $200 food vouchers that they ‘heard’ would be distributed by the Social Democratic Liberal Party (SODELPA).

The party denied it had made an announcement and called those spreading the rumour mischief makers.

A team from The Fiji Times spoke to people at the park and found out that the majority of the congregation lived in areas not eligible for Government’s Homes-CARE initiative.

According to Shamshun Nisha of Saweni, Lautoka, she arrived yesterday morning after she heard that SODELPA was distributing food vouchers. Delaitomuka resident Anand Prasad said people were gathering at the park the whole week.

“My wife was informed yesterday (Thursday) by one of our neighbours that people would receive the food voucher and I decided to come today (yesterday),” the 48-year-old said. ”

This is really bad because you see people who come here and they wait for the whole day. This way of spreading rumours needs to stop.”

SODELPA Lautoka branch vice-president Inia Qereqeretabua visited members of the public at the park and informed them that there was no distribution.

He said this reflected the desperation of people, and revealed that those who turned up were struggling to put food on the table.

Meanwhile, SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka said the unfortunate incident was an indication of the need of communities and increasing poverty rate in Fiji.

“To those who turned up, I apologise sincerely for this mischief making.”

More Stories