Monday, July 19, 2010

Methodist church gives eviction notice

FBC News

Report by : Savaira Tabua - Monday, July 19, 2010

Tenants residing at a property owned by the Methodists Church in  Davuilevu  Housing  have been given an eviction notice effective from last week.
Methodist Church Assistant Secretary Tevita Nawadra told FBC news five families have been given 30 days notice to vacate a land they are about to develop.  

“The notice is usually for 30 days –if the notice is not being taken care of or if they do not agree with whatever has been given to them then we will move on to the next step  which is the Court Order – we will get a Court order to ensure the process of the law is being followed.”
 Reason to be upset ... Ratu Loco Qiolevu
However one of the tenants Hem Raj says they have been paying $20 a month in rent since 2007 to Ratu Loco of Navuso, Naitasiri.

Ratu Loco claims to be the rightful owner of the land the Methodist church wants to develop. 

Chief against church

Saturday, September 15, 2007
NAITASIRI chief Ratu Loco Qiolevu says he will never forgive the Methodist Church in Fiji nor partake in their asking for forgiveness and land cleansing process because they are liars and thieves.
Speaking in Fijian, Ratu Loco said the church had been taking land which was not theirs and extending their boundaries over the past 30 years and it was time somebody told the truth.
He said there was an agreement made by his forefathers of Navuso Village and the church for them to give more than 300 acres of land for the church to build schools and a theological college at Davuilevu but the church had extended the boundaries and made the land theirs.
Also, they had renamed Davuilevu Housing which was suppose to be named Naiqiliso, so known by the traditional owners of the land, and allowed it to be sub-divided, which was wrong.
He said this was not right because he claimed that money was given to the church before the new Rewa Bridge was built and the money should have been given to the landowners because they are the rightful owners.
Ratu Loco said that as much as he respected the owner of the church which was the Lord, it was the people running the church who were corrupt and did not conduct fair and clean dealings on land issues with landowners.
He said the landowners have been silent and respectful and never questioned the church on what was happening but it was time for a change.
Yesterday, a delegation led by Naitasiri divisional superintendent Reverend Moape Tavakula visited Ratu Loco's residence at Tamavua to inform him about the cleansing process which would start at Navuso Village on Monday.
Mr Tavakula said as protocol, they had come to inform and invite him to be part of the process. Also, he was going to conduct the process for the villagers of Navuso and it was part of the circuit and division's spiritual program.
Mr Tavakula asked Ratu Loco to be part of the land cleansing because it was important for the villagers and it would benefit the younger generation who sometimes were burdened with the wrongdoings of the past and this was the only way to undo it. He said the cleansing process would start on Monday and there would be asking for forgiveness by the villagers and blessing of old traditional sites because sometimes there were wrongs done by ancestors that hindered the progress of younger generations.
Ratu Loco told them he would never be part of any cleansing unless the church first asked for forgiveness from the landowners and villagers of Navuso because of what they had done. He said this was basically why he had dismantled the 22 houses at the church-run Navuso students farm a few years ago and seized all the farm implements because he wanted the church to pay for what they took from the landowners.
He showed the delegation letters sent to the Fiji Independent Commission Against Corruption Unit and the High Court on complaints against the church stealing land from the landowners.
He said it was about time someone went against the church and he did not have anything against the delegation but they needed to tell church president Reverend Laisiasa Ratabacaca what needed to be done. Ratu Loco said only and if the church admitted and asked for forgiveness from the landowners would be he able to forgive them for what they had done because it was the landowners whose land had been taken by the church.
Church general secretary, Reverend Ame Tugaue and assistant general secretary, Reverend Tuikilakila Waqairatu and FICAC deputy commissioner, George Langman could not be reached for a comment last night.

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