NEWS

Church Linked to Dispute Over Taveuni Chief’s Installation

Tension is high at Welagi Village in Taveuni over the planned installation of Navunisa na Tui Taveuni tomorrow. It is alleged that only a small group has agreed to this
21 Jul 2017 11:00
Church Linked to Dispute Over Taveuni Chief’s Installation
Roko Tui Cakaudrove Filimone Naiqumu (middle)

Tension is high at Welagi Village in Taveuni over the planned installation of Navunisa na Tui Taveuni tomorrow.

It is alleged that only a small group has agreed to this event which is reportedly supported by Jezreel Lion of Judah Church.

The church’s disgraced leader, Jone Cokanauto, was recently convicted of rape, attempted rape and indecent assault.

He was jailed for 20 years with a non-parole period of 19 years. His victims were church members.

The chief to be installed is Adi Ana Qereitoga, a church member and sister of the former Tui Taveuni, the late Ratu Jone Radrodro, who died about a decade ago.

One of the issues central to the row is understood to be Adi Ana’s alleged refusal to drink the ceremonial bowl of yaqona because of her religious beliefs. It is understood that Adi Ana preferred to be blessed by her church pastors instead of going through the cultural protocol of the yaqona ceremony.

Roko Tui Cakaudrove, Filimoni Naiqumu, said he had advised the villagers not to conduct the installation as they needed to reconcile first.

“The villagers have been advised to first reconcile within themselves before they install their chief,” Mr Naiqumu said.

“This is the duty of the vanua, they need to discuss amongst themselves and carry out the installation, this is not the responsibility of the church, and the church has no role in matters as such,” he said.

A member of the chief herald’s clan, Bonevasio Koroduadua, said that the installation would take place as scheduled. He declined to comment further.

The iTaukei Affairs Permanent Secretary Naipote Katonitabua said he would not comment on the issue.

The chairman of the iTaukei Lands and Fisheries Commission, Ratu Vananalagi Vesikula, could not be reached to comment.

Adi Ana is from the chiefly clan of Nasuva.

The title holder will lead Welagi. The village has four mataqali in the Cakaudrove province.

Welagi is one of the 11 villages in the district of Cakaudrove. The other 10 villages are: Somosomo, Loa, Lovonivonu, Nakobo, Nabagasau, Nanuca, Nawi, Dakuniba, Tavuki and Yacata.

The Lalagavesi na Turaga na Tui Cakau na i Sokula, Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, the SODELPA president and MP, is the paramount chief of the province.

Edited by Karalaini Waqanidrola

Feedback:  josaia.ralago@fijisun.com.fj

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