March 30, 2013

Two names proposed for Vunivalu title

March 29, 2013 10:56:52 AM

Two names being proposed to hold the Vunivalu title in Bau are Ratu Joji Cakobau and Ratu Epenisa Cakobau.

The two are sons of the late Vunivalu, Ratu Sir George Kadavulevu Cakobau.

The names were confirmed to FijiLive by one of the members of the Tui Kaba clan and a senior chief Adi Finau Tabakaucoro.

The Turaga na Vunivalu of Bau, generally considered to be one of three highest ranking chiefly title in Fiji has been vacant since the death of the last Vunivalu, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, in 1989.

Meanwhile, Turaga na Tunitoga Ratu Veiwili Komaitai told FijiLive they have already decided on the incumbent for the vacant position and they will be making an announcement to the Vanua soon.

“We had been having a lot of hiccups as one of the members of the clan passed away after we made our decision but people should be rest assured that a chief will be announced soon,” he said.

The Vunivalu, when installed, also takes the title of Tui Levuka as he is the traditional leader of the Levuka people of Lakeba, Lau.

The four male candidates that had been announced in the past were Ratu George Cakobau Junior, the son of the late Vunivalu, his brother Ratu Epenisa Cakobau, Ratu George Kadavulevu Naulivou, and former Vice-President Ratu Jope Seniloli.

Ratu George had announced on June 9, 2005, that the chiefs of Matanitu o Bau (the traditional chiefly government of Bau, which includes the districts of Dravo, Namata, Nausori, and Nuku), had selected the four chiefly candidates, to be submitted to the Tui Kaba clan, to choose one of them.

A second meeting a week later tentatively proposed Senator Ratu George Cakobau as the new Vunivalu, but his appointment was not finalised and is not without controversy.

Adi Finau had complained that the proper procedures were not being followed. The new Vunivalu should be elected by the whole clan, she said, rather than chosen by a few elders.

The head of the Tovata confederacy is the Tui Cakau, currently Ratu Naiqama Lalabalavu, and the head of the Burebasaga confederacy is the Roko Tui Dreketi, Ro Teimumu Kepa.

Traditionally, the heads of the three confederacies are regarded as the highest ranking chiefs in Fiji.

By Mereani Gonedua

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