SUNBIZ

Landowners Clear Roadblock To Zip Fiji After Meeting With TLTB

Lease of 99 years is given for tourism, the first five years is for the investor to build and start the business, otherwise it would be a breach of lease agreement and the iTaukei Land Trust Board could even take back the land.
23 Sep 2019 13:02
Landowners Clear Roadblock To Zip Fiji After Meeting With TLTB
The road block at Tau Village near Momi in Nadroga on September 20. Photo Charles Chambers

A road block erected by landowners that had temporarily stopped tourists from travelling to Zip Fiji near Momi in Nadroga was removed hours later following a meeting with the iTaukei Land Trust Board.

Board Assistant General Manager, Solomoni Nata, confirmed the matter was resolved following their meeting at Tau Village.

Seremaia Nakoula, 60, of the Tokatoka Rurugu had told the Fiji Sun on Wednesday of what they thought was a breach of lease agreements.

Mr Nakoula said they had signed a five year lease with Zip Fiji and were told recently that the company had received a 99 year lease before the five year term was up.

Mr Nata said the landowners were paid a premium of $20,000 when the lease was signed and $13,000 in lease payment along with $2000 towards the education of their children and a further $2000 for community development in the village every year.

He said both landowning units had waited for TLTB to arrive for a scheduled meeting on Tuesday in the village but no-one turned up.

Lease term
However, Mr Nata said the lease term had always been for 99 years when it was signed by the landowners in 2013.

Mr Nata explained that when the lease of 99 years is given for tourism, the first five years is for the investor to build and start the business, otherwise it would be a breach of lease agreement and the Board could even take back the land.

He further added there was never any five years lease given to the developer, in this case Zip Fiji, as the agreement signed with the landowners in 2013 was for 99 years.
“The lease agreement was signed after consultations with the landowners and I feel that someone had misinformed them.

“Also the road that was blocked is a Government road as it was the old road that was used for access to an old quarry that was near the area where Zip Fiji carry out their business,” Mr Nata said.

Land owners
Meanwhile word from the village on Friday was that the landowners would wait for TLTB and the owners of Zip Fiji for a scheduled meeting on Thursday to resolve all issues.

“We will wait for the meeting and then decide what we will do,” the source said.
When contacted on Friday, a representative from Zip Fiji said, the company directors were overseas and no comments would be issued in regards to the incident.

Feedback: charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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