27 Aug 2012

Samoa village ousts matai after power meter deal with government

1:51 pm on 27 August 2012

The Magiagi village council in Samoa has ousted two senior matai accused of siding with the government in a dispute over electricity.

Last week, following a meeting between the government and village representatives, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, announced that Magiagi had agreed to install cash power meters in their homes.

This would allow the state-owned Electric Power Corporation to charge the residents for electricity.

Magiagi village however did not agree with the announcement and accused the matai they have since ousted of ignoring village requests.

In a village meeting in the weekend, the two matai were accused of having benefitted from services they performed for the government while the rest of the village was left with nothing.

The government had refused to write off a multi million dollar debt for electricity the village owes for 14 years of unpaid bills.

Magiagi insists it is entitled to free electricity or adequate compensation for the use of its water resources to generate electricity.

Efforts by police and power company workers to install cash power meters in the weekend were not successful as young men came at them with rocks.