TLTB clarifies allegations made by a landowner in Bua

April 17, 2024 8:35 am

The iTaukei Land Trust Board has clarified claims and allegations made by Mataqali Naita of Lekutu in Bua regarding the re-issuance of a lease to Mohammed Harun and Mohammed Iltaz Ali after it expired.

Tevita Raiova claims the incompetency and lack of transparency by the legal team of TLTB in handling the court case and the concerns of landowners regarding the land that belongs to Mataqali Naita.

Raiova further claims that after the lease expired, the tenant continued to occupy the land for another 15 years, operating a business without paying a single cent to the landowners.

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However, in a statement released by TLTB in response to FBC News, TLTB indicated that the lease in question expired in 1999, when an eviction notice was issued to the sons of the former tenants, Mohammed Harun and Mohammed Iltaz Ali.

Both the sons refused to vacate the property and remained on the land, attempting to apply for a new agricultural lease.

TLTB proceeded to issue a new 30-year agricultural lease for Vuninoko Subdivision Lot 4 with a reduced area of 38.7611 hectures to exclude the pine trees and area earmarked for bauxite.

It says this decision was made in accordance with TLTB’s procedures and after due consultation with the relevant landowning unit.

The new tenants then attempted to harvest the pine trees but were prevented by landowners as the area was outside the new lease area; hence, they took the landowners to court.

TLTB confirms that the tenants and landowners have an out-of-court settlement as claimed by Raiova to harvest and equally share the proceeds from the pine.

Meanwhile, TLTB is advising landowners and tenants to exercise maturity in making claims and allegations but to verify with the TLTB office first.

TLTB also emphasized that the changes being implemented now by the board are new and aimed at the overall development and benefit of all landowners in Fiji.