NATION

Veteran Politician, Soldier Apisai Tora Dies At Age 86

He passed away at the Lautoka Hospital on Thursday after a short-illness.
09 Aug 2020 12:39
Veteran Politician, Soldier Apisai Tora Dies At Age 86
The late Mohammed Apisai Tora.

Veteran politician, Malayan Campaign soldier and powerful trade unionist, Mohammed Apisai Tora has died at the age of 86.

Mr Tora a tribal chief who hails from Natalau Village in Sabeto in Ba. He held the traditional title of Taukei Waruta, Turaga ni Yavusa o Waruta.

He passed away at the Lautoka Hospital on Thursday after a short-illness.

Mr Tora was one of the last surviving politicians from the colonial era to post-independence, having represented in both sides of Parliament. First as an Opposition Member of Parliament with the National Federation Party (NFP) in 1972 and then as a Government MP with the Alliance Party in 1982.

Screenshot 2020-08-09 at 12.36.01 PMHe had a humble beginning as a cane farmer and was party to agitation over conditions in the farms under British Rule, which led to the formation of the NFP.

Mr Tora played a critical role in the country’s trade union movement. He also marched in the streets with the iTaukei movement, demonstrating against Dr Timoci Bavadra’s coalition government, which was later deposed in a military coup led by Sitiveni Rabuka.

He was associated with a lot of controversies.

In the lead up to the 1982 election, he was wooed by the Alliance Party to become their campaign manager, which he successfully led to victory, but only to lose in 1987.

He adopted the name Mohammed after converting to Islam.

His wife Melania Ganiviti died in 2006.

Final details of his burial will be released by his family today.

He is survived by his eight children, 19 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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