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Eviction order

Luke Rawalai And Repeka Nasiko
Monday, April 28, 2014

NINE families of Nasaqasaqa Settlement in Cakaudrove face eviction from their homes today after a High Court ordered they vacate the two acres of land they have called home for about 40 years.

According to the court order delivered last year, the family were living on freehold land belonging to the trustees of the Church of England.

However, group representative Josese Rogo claimed the piece of land was leased to them by the landowning unit of Nawaisa Village.

Mr Rogo said they made annual lease payments of $220 to the iTaukei Land Trust Board for the past 40 years.

"The landowners have allowed us to stay on this land since the boundaries of the land are not clear," he said.

"There is a dispute right now on who is the rightful owner of the land and we are caught in the middle.

"It seems that at the end of this, we are still at a loss.

"We are worried because the future of our children is in doubt and we are not working people who can fork out money to rebuild our lives in another place."

Mr Rogo said they were pleading for more time to resolve the problem.

Worried housewife Lusiana Pote said they had been living on the land for the past 40 years.

"Now we do not know where to move to because we do not have any relatives here and we do not have money to transport our belongings to a new place," she said.

"The other eight families are not originally from here and we are worried for the sake of our own children who will be homeless like us.

"We seek help and assistance from all authorities, please, lend an ear to our pleas and to the future of our children."

The unit that claims to be owners of the land has revealed it has been more than 30 years that the families have been living on the land.

Mataqali o Nawaisa mata ni tikina Apenisa Taga said they would do everything in their power to help the families.

"They have paid their lease to us for more than 30 years and we have given our consent for them to live on that piece of land," he said.

He said members of the landowning unit would be at the site today to try and assist the families.

Commissioner Northern Alipate Bolalevu said they were aware of the matter.

"The court order is the final say on the issue and we cannot do anything since they have been given warning for the past three years," he said.

"There is nothing much that we can do because the court has the final say in such matters."

Meanwhile, TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki said he would respond on the issue today.

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