NATION

Brave 12-Year-Old Boy Shares Problems With PM

Mohammed Shah was the only student during a talanoa session at the Fiji Sugar Corporation Hall in Labasa on Wednesday.
02 Oct 2020 10:02
Brave 12-Year-Old Boy Shares Problems With PM
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama listened to Mohammed Shah’s plight during a talanoa session at the Fiji Sugar Corporation hall in Labasa on September 30, 2020. Photo: Laisa Lui

A brave 12-year-old of Bocalevu in Labasa walked straight up to the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and talked about the plight he and his family are currently facing.

It was related to land issues.

Mohammed Shah was the only student during a talanoa session at the Fiji Sugar Corporation Hall in Labasa on Wednesday.

He asked the Prime Minister’s help to save his family from being homeless.

All he requested was a small house block where his family can call home.

“My father left us when my mother, Nazia Bano was admitted at the Labasa Hospital for three months after suffering from 65 per cent burn in 2010 at Bulileka,” Mohammed told the Prime Minister.

Since then, he and his older sister have been living with their mother at her parents’ home in Bocalevu.

The Year Six student of Bocalevu Muslim Primary School said his family members were specially challenged.

“I told Mr Bainimarama that the house block where we are currently staying with my grandparents rightfully belongs to them,” he said.

“Since 2001 my grandfather, Mohammed Yusuf who is, 67, has been running to the iTaukei Land Trust Board (TLTB) in Labasa to give him this block,” Mohammed said.

He shared this with Mr Bainimarama who then got him to talk to the Minister for Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation Mereseini Vuniwaqa.

“I told both of them that we are desperately in need of that house block before my grandfather dies or we will become homeless,” Mohammed said.

“My mother is the only breadwinner in the family and my elder sister is a Year 12 student at Labasa College.”

He said Mrs Vuniwaqa then got him to talk to the TLTB Labasa regional manager Josaia Waqairatu.

Mr Waqairatu said he would consult with their lawyer and get back to them with an update. Mohammed’s grandfather, Mr Yusuf said he wasn’t aware about his grandson visiting the talanoa session.

“We have been running to the TLTB since 2001 asking them to give us the house block where we are currently residing,” Mr Yusuf said.

“That is why Mohammed thought to take a bold step to talk to Mr Bainimarama to help us.”

He said they are hopeful a positive outcome would materialise.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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