Translated from FaaSamoa by Ganasavea Manuia. Two long serving LTC Judges were sworn in as Vice Presidents of the Lands and Titles Court in an intimate ceremony on Friday morning before the LTC President, Hon Lesatele Rapi Vaai.
As shown in a poor quality home video taken by an MJCA staff member and posted on the Ministry’s website, the ceremony was held in a conference room of the Mulinuu Courthouse, attended by only a few members of the Court, the newly appointed CEO and the President.
Masinalupe Tusipa Masinalupe is a former Chief Executive Officer of MJCA who led the Ministry as CEO from 2001 to 2016, while Leaupepe Fatu Pula worked for the Police Department for many years, and served as a former Assistant Police Commissioner.
Speaking to Samoa Global News, Hon Minister of Justice and Courts Administration, Matamua Seumanu Vasati Sili said the appointments of Masinalupe and Leaupepe to the roles of Vice President, are well deserved.
“These two tamalii are long-serving members of the public sector who have served Samoa well.”
“They have made many sacrifices over the years in the respective roles they had been given, and their promotion to Vice President is a natural progression,” said the Minister.
The Minister also confirmed that a new Deputy President would be sworn in next week. Afamasaga Michael Soonalole will take up the role of Deputy President.
“These roles and positions are important to offer assistance and support to the President of LTC as we move forward to serve the country,” added the Minister.
Masinalupe Tupai Tuuu Tusipa Masinalupe spoke to acknowledge the Minister, the Chief Justice, President and LTC Commission (Komiti) who overlook the appointments for the trust instilled in them. He thanked the President and Ministry, as well as their families for the support. “O le faiva e tapuaia, o faiva manuia ia.”
Masinalupe Tusipa has worked for the Ministry since 1975 and worked his way up through the various roles until he was appointed CEO in 2001. He held this role until 2016 and later returned to serve as a Judge of the LTC.
The new positions come after the controversy that led to the removal of the former LTC President and former Electoral Commissioner who had been sworn in as Deputy President.
The new appointments are made under the revised LTC legislation recently passed by Parliament.