NATION

Headmen Are To Assist Traditional Leaders: Official

Village headmen are there to assist the traditional chiefs but not to overrule them, says the Village By-Laws Committee chairman Saimoni Waibuta. Mr Waibuta was responding to concerns raised by
09 Feb 2017 11:00

Village headmen are there to assist the traditional chiefs but not to overrule them, says the Village By-Laws Committee chairman Saimoni Waibuta.

Mr Waibuta was responding to concerns raised by the Nasavusavu District representative Iowane Larua during the draft village by-laws consultation at Yaroi Village, in Savusavu yesterday.

Mr Larua said there were times when the calls by village headmen were dismissed by villagers because they were not traditional leaders.

“While looking at the draft village by laws, we can see that a lot of work has to be carried out by these village headmen to ensure that these are successful,” Mr Larua said.

“So I am humbly requesting if we can have laws that can consolidate their authority.

“They are a lot of times when they are disrespected by villagers, because they are not chiefs.

“This is a concern that we have noted and are therefore requesting if it can be addressed so it can make work easier for them.”

While responding to this, Mr Waibuta said the works of village headmen were very important and they should be respected.

“But it is important to understand that village headmen are to work according to the decision made by the traditional leaders in the community,’ Mr Waibuta said.

He said they were there to assist the chiefs and to work closely with them but not to override their decision.

“The decision of a village lies with the Bose Vanua and not with the Turaga ni Koro,” Mr Waibuta said.

“When calling the village meeting, the Turaga ni Koro has to be working on behalf of the traditional leaders and not of their own decision.

“He is only the secretary and the treasurer during the village meetings, which means that all decisions made rests on the Bose Vanua.”

Mr Waibuta has strongly urged villagers to clear their schedules and attend village meetings when they were called.

 

Ministry cannot stop women from kava drinking: Waibuta

The Ministry of iTaukei Affairs cannot ban the consumption of kava by women in villages through their bylaws.

Mr Waibuta while responding to concerned members of the public on the overconsumption of kava by women in certain villages.

Nakobo village headman Bola Duadua said this had become an issue of great concern.

“In some instances, it is the women who continue to drink grog, way after the men have gone to rest. I recommend that kava drinking by women, without a reasonable traditional cause, should be banned in iTaukei village,” Mr Duadua said.

“They should only consume kava when there is a family meeting or a village meeting, but this kava abuse by our women should be stopped.”

While responding to this concern, Mr Waibuta said this was a decision they could not enforce through the village bylaws.

He said the main concern the ministry was trying to address was the overconsumption of kava by everyone and not only women.

“We will take this recommendation down but you have to understand that this is something that we cannot implement from the ministry,” Mr Waibuta said.

“It can however be enforced through the Vanua. If as villagers you feel the need to impose such a ban then you can do so within the peripheries of your village.”

Edited by Rusiate Mataika

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



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