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Land issues cause of disputes among iTaukei

Repeka Nasiko
Friday, May 30, 2014

LAND trustees and the issue of equal distribution of lease money was one of the reasons behind the rise in conflicts between iTaukei, says divisional police commander West Salacieli Naivilawasa.

Addressing members of the Ba Provincial Council in Viseisei, Vuda, DPC Naivilawasa said trustees had been the subject of most land lease disputes in the Ba province.

"Something that we are concerned about regarding the province of Ba which has caused a lot of disputes and crimes are the trustees," he said.

"These people by law have the right to oversee the distribution of money to landowners and to manage the funds of a landowning unit.

"This is an area where a lot of disputes occur."

He said a lot of finger pointing and arguments had resulted in the mismanagement of these funds by trustees.

"From these arguments there are a lot of assault cases and people get injured and forget their family links."

Mr Naivilawasa said the police force was also concerned about the appointment of trustees.

"There is no background check for some of those who have been chosen as trustees and the result of that is funds are not managed properly and there are cases of misuse of funds by these people.

"These people use the lease money without the knowledge of the landowners."

The divisional police commander also reiterated the common problem of land and qoliqoli disputes.

"This is another cause of disputes, arguments and even assault which we come across.

"There are people like yavusa or mataqali heads who give away land or fishing rights to those who offer money without the knowledge of the rest of the clan members.

"The consent was not given by all members and they are the ones who come to us to lodge a complaint."

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