Land lease issues | Mataqali demands lease compensation for past 53 years

Mataqali Tibitibi member Ivamere Ganilau. Picture: SERAFINA SILAITOGA

Although members of mataqali Tibitibi have agreed to open the water catchment area, they still demand payment of the lease to be finalised by the end of this month or next month.

And the members have also demanded that the lease payment be documented and signed by all parties.

Mataqali member Ivamere Ganilau said they were serious about their issues and made this known when they met with WAF and TLTB officials last Friday.

In the agreement, the mataqali Tibitibi of Vunivutu Village in Macuata have three conditions.

Ms Ganilau said they wanted:

  • employment opportunities for their members;
  • a good compensation payment for the past 53 years; and
  • lease of the catchment area.

She added for the past nine months, she visited government departments enquiring about lease of their catchment area.

“Every week we have our mataqali meeting so on Monday morning, I would go and visit the WAF, DOs office and TLTB. And every week they refer me to another department or tell me it’s being updated in the system,” ms Ganilau said.

“For the past nine months, I have been pushed from one department to another so we have drawn the line and enough is enough.

“We closed the catchment area as we want our lease to be paid.”

Ms Ganilau said they had plans that needed funding and the lease would help in a big way.

“We have our scholarship plan, we want to develop our area and buy vehicles because we are far from the main road and other plans to benefit us. That is why we are serious about our decision when we closed the catchment area because WAF has received bills from customers over the past 53 years, but the landowners have received nothing.”

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