Three members of the Faatuatua i Le Atua Samoa ua Tasi party who ran the April 2021 general elections and subsequent by-elections have been appointed to board positions of State Owned Enterprises.
Minister of Justice Hon Matamua Seumanu Vasati Pulufana Sili said Cabinet has approved four new Board Members and three new Board Chairs.
Former Minister of Health Sala Vaimili II Uili has been appointed Board Member of Samoa Ports Authority. Sala ran under the FAST ticket in the general election for Sagaga 3 – the electorate won by incumbent HRPP MP, Sala Fata Pinati.
Papalii Panoa Tavita Moala has been appointed Board Member of the Samoa National Provident Fund – SNPF. Papalii Panoa is a business entrepreneur and former CEO of the SNPF.
Last month Papalii held a press conference and alleged that during his time as CEO of SNPF, former Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi had requested SNPF lands for a church raffle. In response Tuilaepa demanded an apology on behalf of the Siusega Catholic parish. Papalii Panoa had refused, stating he was able to provide proof of all statements made.
Threats of court action and counter-actions have since been exchanged between Papalii Panoa and Tuilaepa Sailele, regarding alleged decisions made by SNPF at the time.
At the April 2021 general elections, Papalii Panoa ran a two-candidate race under the FAST ticket, and lost against incumbent MP of Sagaga 1 – Loau Solamalemalo Keneti Sio.
Fata Ryan Schuster has been appointed to the Board of the Samoa Sports Facilities Authority – SSFA. Fata Ryan is a businessman and former Manager of the Manu Samoa 15s.
Fata was ruled out as a candidate for the April 2021 general election in a pre-election court petition for Sagaga 2. He was, however; able to run as one of three FAST candidates for the by-election which was won by MP Maulolo Tavita Amosa.
For the Land Transport Authority, former ACEO of LTA, Leota Kapeneta Perelini has been appointed the newest member of the LTA Board.
It is not clear which board members have been removed to make room for the FAST candidates.
Applications to become Board Members of State Owned Enterprises are received by the Ministry of Public Enterprises who refularly run Director’s Courses for those interested.
A comment was sought from the MPE Chief Executive Officer Tooala Elita Tooala, but no response was received by press time.
Matamua also confirmed that three State Owned Corporations have newly appointed Chairpersons, with existing board members being promoted to lead as Chair.
For the Samoa Land Corporation – SLC, Matafeo George Latu takes over the Chairmanship of the Board from Tupuola Lavea Malifa.
The Samoa Tourism Authority – STA Board will be Chaired by Tauiliili Alise Stunnenberg replacing Tuiataga Nathan Bucknall.
The Land Transport Authority Board will be Chaired by Lilo Leilua Punivalu, replacing Taua Paul Philips.
It is unclear if the previous Chairs remain as regular board members, or transferred to other boards, or removed from board membership altogether.