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Acting PM An instant hit in Rewa

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was an instant hit the moment he arrived in Rewa district yesterday. Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was told he was not a visitor to Rewa, but was
20 Oct 2018 12:18
Acting PM An instant hit in Rewa
Stakeholder reps of the Waitui Cluster Education Partnership Model cut a cake to celebrate with Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Acting Prime Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum was an instant hit the moment he arrived in Rewa district yesterday.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was told he was not a visitor to Rewa, but was regarded as one of them because of his links with Nakuruvarua of Nadroga, through his wife Ela.

Ratu Aca Mataitini, of the chiefly house of the Vunivalu (Warlord) of Rewa and Burebasaga Confederacy, said when Rewa went to Nakuruvarua, the family that Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was married to “would welcome us”.

He made the remarks when he presented the qaloqalovi during the traditional welcome ceremony.

“You and your family are part of us. We are leaving the vanua of Burebasaga to you to protect together with the Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi. We are leaving the teachers in your capable hands. There are ears listening today. They are hoping you will hear their cries and the issues they will bring up in the talanoa session.”

Later each of the schools which are members of the cluster presented their list of needs.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum was in Rewa District School to:

  • Witness the launch of the unique Waitui Cluster Education Partnership Model and its signing of the memorandum of understanding. (Full report on page 2)
  • Hand over of a new boat and outboard engine
  • Join the World Food Day celebrations.
  • Hold a talanoa session in his capacity as Education Minister.

This was a significant visit by Mr Sayed-Khaiyum because this is the Opposition leader Ro Teimumu Kepa’s territory in the context of the November 14 General Election. It’s her political and traditional powerbase.

Ratu Aca Mataitini presenting the qaloqalovi during the traditional welcome ceremony on October 19, 2018.  Photo: Simione Haravanua

Ratu Aca Mataitini presenting the qaloqalovi during the traditional welcome ceremony on October 19, 2018. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Ratu Aca said: “Sir, on behalf of the Marama Bale na Roko Tui Dreketi and the vanua of Rewa, head teachers of the Waitui Cluster, teachers, and especially the students and their parents, the people of Rewa are presenting to you this kamunaga (whale’s tooth) to honour your presence here today and your acceptance of our invitation to be here at Rewa District School.”

He said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s presence meant a lot to the people of Rewa in the Waitui Cluster.

“This is like D-Day for them. You are the man they have been waiting for to listen to their cries,” Ratu Aca said.   

“We believe this is the first time you are setting foot in Rewa district. You are a very busy person. We are grateful you have come down to meet people on the ground.”

He said many of the students and their parents braved a swollen Rewa River caused by rain, because they wanted to personally meet the minister.

“They only see you on TV and your pictures in the newspapers. Today they see the real person.

“Thank you for all that you have done for the Government and for Fiji.”

Oveti Koroitavalena, of Lomanikoro, who presented the sevusevu (yaqona ceremony), said Mr Sayed-Khaiyum’s arrival to Rewa had brought a new hope for the future for the people of Rewa.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback:  simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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