NATION

Ministry Clears Confusion

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs says having a birth certificate does not mean iTaukei children are automatically registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula – the register of all iTaukei
14 May 2015 07:50
Ministry Clears Confusion
A staff of the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs hands out information leaflets during the consultation at Qauia Village in Lami on Tuesday. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs says having a birth certificate does not mean iTaukei children are automatically registered in the Vola ni Kawa Bula – the register of all iTaukei people.

This was clarified by the ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Savenaca Kaunisela.

Mr Kaunisela said it was important for every iTaukei to know who they were in their vanua and their responsibilities.

Mr Kaunisela said there was some information being spread by a group of iTaukei people that were not contained in the VKB.

“They want to include what they have in the VKB and this will never happen,” he said.

“The VKB has sworn statements.”

After the swearing of these statements, he said, 90 days and nights were given for people to challenge it.

“Where were these people at that time,” Mr Kaunisela asked.

For the sworn statements, the iTaukei elders at the time explained where they had come from and their responsibilities to the vanua.

In regards to the chiefly titles, he said, most titles were still vacant because of disputes by chiefly clans.

“Most are coming up with new and unfounded claims,” Mr Kaunisela said.

“Those involved are pushing for another new hearing and sworn statements and this will mean all records in the iTaukei Land, Fisheries Commission (TLFC) have to be renewed.”

Mr Kaunisela also clarified that the new Constitution gave more protection to the iTaukei people.

When opening the first iTaukei Consultation at Raiwaqa, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said – “The Fijian Constitution recognises the unique culture, customs, traditions and language of the iTaukei and protects their ownership of their land.

“Under the Constitution, all iTaukei land will remain with its customary owners and no iTaukei land will ever be lost, whether by sale, grant, transfer or exchange.”

The VKB is the official Fijian register of native landowners. It is known as the Native Land Register.

By law, all indigenous Fijians who are now known as iTaukei are entitled to be registered in the VKB, which is administered by the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission (TLFC).

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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