NEWS

Relocation Help Refused

Twelve families at Vunimoli Settlement in Tamavua-i-wai, Suva, have been issued notices to relocate by Export Freight Services (Fiji) Limited. A letter signed by company director, Malcolm Chan, to the
19 May 2015 10:01
Relocation Help Refused
Front from left: Vive Ucunikaiverata and Elemeci Valuca with Jale Tauraga holds a copy of the letter stating they should vacate the area in Tamavua-I-Wai yesterday. Photo: Paulini Ratulailai

Twelve families at Vunimoli Settlement in Tamavua-i-wai, Suva, have been issued notices to relocate by Export Freight Services (Fiji) Limited.

A letter signed by company director, Malcolm Chan, to the director of the People Community Network (PCN), said – “This letter is to inform you that our company has bought the piece of land that the 12 households in the squatter settlement.

“Please note that we will help them in relocating their belongings to where they will be temporarily building their house on before Government officially confirms the place to move to permanently.”

He said the company had helped two families who had accepted their offer, but the others had opted to stay put.

The acting chairman of the Vunimoli Community Settlement, Jale Tauraga, confirmed they had been given notices and would only move if they were given a court order.

“We will not respond to the notice, but only to a court order,” he said.

Meanwhile the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Resettlement Committee, Kisoko Cagituevei, said the matter had been brought to their attention.

He said section 39 (1) of the  Constitution clearly stipulated that – ”Every person has the right to freedom from arbitrary evictions from his or her home or to have his or her home demolished, without an order of a court made after considering all the relevant circumstances.”

“These squatters were using their rights under this section of the Constitution, but they have to move when a court order was given to them,” Mr Cagituevei said.

He said the squatters had been given an option to relocate to Wainadoi, but they said it was too far.

Mr Cagituevei said they were also included in the Lagilagi Settlememt development.

This housing development he said would cater for 10,000 families and it would take years.

His advice to them – “You move when you are served with a court order, but it will be better to move now as everything will be provided for in terms of your relocation.”

Mr Kisoko will be meeting this group tomorrow.

The Permanent Secretary for Lands, Tevita Boseiwaqa, said they would look into the matter.

He said a survey had been completed on the settlement.

The survey, he said, showed that from 43 households that were surveyed, 13 did not have their own water meters and 22 of them did not have electricity connections. On their livelihood, the report said their income levels were average.

He said the group was given an option to move to Wainadoi, but no one moved.

Mr Tauraga said they did not move because the majority of them were employed along the Suva corridor and transport was easily accesible to them at Vunimoli.

He said it was also easier for their children to go to their schools.

Mr Tauraga said most of them were lowly-paid workers and their current location was beneficial for them because it was just a walking distance to their workplaces.

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 




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