July 18, 2013

Landowners in the dark

Luke Rawalai
Tuesday, July 09, 2013

A LANDOWNING unit in Labasa has questioned the transfer of a land lease without their knowledge and consent.

The concern was raised by head of the Wailailai landowning unit, Adi Sivo Ravuwale, who claimed the iTaukei Land Trust Board transferred about 10 acres of mataqali land in Bulileka to another tenant.

"We didn't know anything and we only found out when the tenant was working on our farm bulldozing our cassava plants," Adi Sivo said.

"We questioned him about the land and he said the TLTB had given him the lease which he showed us."

Adi Sivo said the lease was transferred even though the current lease was under Qionibaravi Ravuwale, a member of the landowning unit who had paid lease monies to the TLTB.

"We were shocked when we found out that this farmer had also been given a lease for the piece of land.

"Upon enquiry we were shown the lease notice with the signature of the TLTB personnel in Labasa giving approval for the lease.

"We know the person whose signature appears on the piece of legal document and I approached the TLTB office in Labasa to enquire about the matter but they have remained tight-lipped."

TLTB general manager Alipate Qetaki advised the landowning unit to discuss the issue with their office in Labasa.

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