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Tension High In Village Over Pastor’s Rape Case

Tension was high at Veinuqa village in Tailevu yesterday over the jailing of Pastor Iowane Vakadranu. A village chief told the pastor’s wife that her husband should never return to
07 Oct 2016 11:00
Tension High In Village Over Pastor’s Rape Case
Back to Eden church at Veinuqa in Tailevu. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Tension was high at Veinuqa village in Tailevu yesterday over the jailing of Pastor Iowane Vakadranu.

A village chief told the pastor’s wife that her husband should never return to the village. Vakadranu was sentenced to 14 years jail and two months for rape.

The chief, who claimed to be a military officer, said the pastor’s church, Back to Eden Church, did  not belong to Veinuqa Village and they were not part of the village.

He said they did not want to be associated with the small church commune.

The chief also criticised the Fiji Sun reporter for writing that the church was at Veinuqa. Speaking in iTaukei he said the church had brought disrepute to the village. He said in iTaukei: “Do you know I am a soldier. I can call Bainimarama and SODELPA?”

Meanwhile, Mrs Vakadranu said she was from Veinuqa village and that she was rightfully sitting on her mataqali land.

Mrs Vakadranu  is the sister of the village headman (Turaga-ni-koro). The Chief and Mrs Vakadranu are  cousins, their fathers are brothers.

“I don’t want to give any information about that person,” said the village chief referring to Pastor Vakadranu.

“I will refer this matter to the Prime Minister and the SODELPA to file the case in court, I don’t like it!” he said.

On the other end, Mrs Vakadranu was confident in saying: “Whatever happens is our spiritual battle and we are prepared to face it.

“Ever since the issue started, this is the first time someone from the village has come to this commune, he doesn’t like pastor and they don’t want him coming here anymore,” she said.

“Someone also called me asking why was I in the TV News with Pastor which shows how much they hate him, but he is my husband,” added Mrs Vakadranu.

“Nothing will ever change the teaching of this church and we will stand with the truth,” she said.

A church member said: “This is what we want, everyone will be against us but we stand on our faith because this is our battle.

“We will fight it and whatever pain our pastor is going through we will also be part of it because we also want to feel his pain.

“The church is yet to decide on who to be the next Pastor.”

Edited by Maraia Vula

Feedback:  selita.bolanavanua@fijisun.com.fj

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