NEWS

Alleged Eviction Threat Fear

Indo-Fijian women in Kuluvota Moala Settlement in Nadera claim they are living in fear after they were threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for SODELPA. They were so frightened,
05 Aug 2017 11:00
Alleged Eviction Threat Fear
SODELPA

Indo-Fijian women in Kuluvota Moala Settlement in Nadera claim they are living in fear after they were threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for SODELPA.

They were so frightened, they refused to be photographed or to be named.

They alleged they were asked to participate in a SODELPA women’s wing meeting at the settlement on Thursday night.

They claimed, the landowner, Litia Rawiriwiri, told them that they should vote for SODELPA in the 2018 General Election.

Mrs Rawiriwiri confirmed she is the National President of the SODELPA Women’s Wing. She denied making such statements to the women.

“It is a free country. Anyone can vote for anyone here,” she said.

The women claimed that Mrs Rawiriwiri informed them to bring their voter identification registration cards to the next meeting, where their details would be recorded.

They claimed that she informed them that she would know if the women and their husbands did not vote for SODELPA from the data that would be released.

One woman asked: “Beta, sach baat hai ki hume apan ghar ukhade ke padhi agar hum log Rabuka ke vote nai kara?” (Child, is it true we will have to dismantle our home if we do not vote for Rabuka?)”

Another woman said: “I told my husband we need to tell this to the Prime Minister and Attorney-General. We are happy with free school fees and free bus fare system but we do not want to be told to leave from this place.”

The families residing there live in an informal settlement in the “vakavanua” way or Tenancy at Will arrangement and do not have proper lease documents.

“Hum log ke chota chota ladkan hai. Hum log ke nikaal dae toh hum log kaha jaega.”

(We have small children. If we are evicted, where will we go?)”

Another woman claimed they were told that if they agreed at the meeting that they would vote for SODELPA leader Sitiveni Rabuka and they did not, they and their family members would fall sick.

“Hum log ke bolis ki ek Government Minister abhi bimar hai because ki woh SODELPA ke against ge raha.” (We were told that a Government Minister is sick right now because he went against SODELPA).”

“We are very frightened. What will we do?”

When this edition went to press neither SODELPA leader Mr Rabuka nor the general secretary Adi Litia Qionibaravi had responded to emailed questions. They could not be contacted by phone also.

At the Thursday meeting two women’s wing officials Saipora Mataikabara and Penina Cirikiyasawa were also present.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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