FIJI NEWS

CAMPAIGN TRAIL – Land Use Tops Agenda

AQELA SUSU suva Land use was again the topic of discussion at the Colo-i-Suva Village hall last night where the FijiFirst Party held its campaign meeting. Party president Dr Jiko
15 Jul 2014 10:58

Salele Soqo of Yaroi, Matuku who resides at Uluibeka settlement near Colo-i-Suva village poses his question to the FijiFirst officials last night. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

AQELA SUSU
suva

Land use was again the topic of discussion at the Colo-i-Suva Village hall last night where the FijiFirst Party held its campaign meeting.
Party president Dr Jiko Luveni clarified queries about how iTaukei land would need 60 per cent approval by the mataqali in order to be released.
She also emphasized that under the 2013 Constitution, it was illegal for Government to take back iTaukei land or have it sold or given as a gift to another party.
Dr Luveni was responding to concerns and questions raised by Colo-i-Suva villager Sikeli Naitale who is also the chairman of the Lomanikoro Trust.
He questioned how the new land laws would apply to the situation his mataqali faced.
Mr Naitale said as landowners there were concerns that their land would be taken by Government and leased to whoever came forward without any consultation with them.
This follows a case whereby Mr Naitale claimed that a Mataqali land had been leased by a tenant who then subleased it to another person five years before the land lease expired in 2002.
Mr Naitale said it was decided by the mataqali to make use of their land, however, it was unfortunate because the tenant still occupied the land.
“I believe it was the iTaukei Land Trust Board’s fault for not removing the tenant,” said Mr Naitale.
“My two children had applied in 2005 through TLTB to lease our mataqali land.
“It was not until last year that they were told that a court order had been issued to evict the tenant from the mataqali land but their lease had ended in 2002.”
Mr Naitale said it was to their surprise that his two children were only given four acres out of the five acres of their mataqali land that had been leased.
“We were told by TLTB that the other acre which was near the road would be sub divided and sold.”
He questioned as to what powers landowners had over their land and if there were laws in place to protect iTaukei land.

Feedback: aqela.susu@fijisun.com.fj



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