27 Jan 2005

Fiji Prime Minister reported to have sought help from a woman reputed to predict the future

4:46 pm on 27 January 2005

Fiji's prime minister, Laisenia Qarase, is reported to have consulted a woman who claims to have powers to heal and predict the future.

The Fiji Sun reports that the woman, known as the Marama Vada, says she offered advice to Mr Qarase and the former vice president, Ratu Jope Seniloli, on matters affecting them.

A spokesman for her One World Church, former television presenter Elia Vesikula, says about 13,000 people have flocked there to have their mental, physical, spiritual and financial problems solved.

Mr Vesikula says the Marama Vada has the power to predict the future, see through the hearts and minds of people and heal the sick.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office is quoted as saying Mr Qarase would be the best person to answer questions regarding his visit to the Marama Vada but he welcomed any good and sound advice.

Two weeks ago Mr Qarase was ordained as a Methodist lay preacher hours after he was challenged by a Tongan minister who warned of more coups in Fiji if its leaders did not preach from the pulpit.