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Samoa Briefs

compiled by Samoa News staff


The driver of a vehicle, which slammed into a bus and exploded, killing an elderly man in the process has pleaded not guilty to charges against him, according to reports in the Samoa Observer.

Keiji Li appeared before the Samoa Chief Justice yesterday.

Li is facing one charge of negligent driving causing death and three charges of negligent driving causing injuries.

The collision between the Toyota Estima and the bus killed 58-year-old father from Leauva’a, Tanielu Pati Seinafo.

He saved a baby’s life when the van exploded after it crashed into the bus.

Tanielu was holding a four-month-old baby, also named Tanielu.

They both fell off the bus during the explosion but the deceased had managed to cuddle the toddler securely, saving his young life.

Tanielu Snr died upon arrival at the hospital.

(Source: Samoa Observer)


A Pentecostal pastor in Samoa says he is against the government's move to try and tax church earnings.

The Ministry for Revenue is consulting this week with churches and communities about the move that aims to tax direct personal donations from individual churchgoers to members of the clergy.

Pastor Samoa Unoi from the Peace Chapel in Apia said many pastors didn't get set wages, but live off donations from parishioners.

"What they get is not wages. What they get is honorarium. It is different to the people's normal wages. In a normal job you are paid according to the hours you work but the pastor's job and the pastor's calling cannot be organised by the same thing. There are no hours, it is 24/7."

Pastor Samoa Unoi said that the other difficulty was that all the different churches in Samoa also have different ways of handling their finances and accounting for donations.

He said that if you studied the scripture, Jesus did not pay any tax and the connotation of taxation in the bible is a negative one.

(Source: RNZI)


Samoa has taken a further step towards its plan to be using only renewable energy to run its electricity system.

Work on the first hydro power station on Savai'i is now underway.

It is being built in the village of Vailoa Palauli.

General manager for the Electric Power Corporation, Tologatā Tile, said this was only the beginning for Savaii.

"We are doing the final negotiations on the power plant agreement for two thousand kilo watts of solar energy for Savaii. In addition to that for the island of Savaii, we are also doing negotiations for another hydropower station, which is two thousand kilo watts capacity. So there's more in the pipeline for the development of renewable energy for Savaii as well as Upolu."

(Source: RNZI)


The Samoa Observer reports an intersection at Vaitele, which has become notorious for car collisions, claimed more victims yesterday. This time, the vehicles involved were a mini van and another vehicle which had taken off when the Samoa Observer arrived.

According to a by stander who spoke to the Samoa Observer on the condition of anonymity, no one was injured but it could have been very serious.

“The driver of the van was wrong,” said the by stander.

But he blamed the visibility of the Stop signs.

“These road signs here they are not good,” he said.

 “As you can see the vehicle has damaged the sign but when it was up, it was covered by this tree so when the car comes from the east side, the drivers cannot see the sign.

(Source: Samoa Observer)