West Efate Area Council of Chiefs to discuss outstanding land cases

(r-l) Chief Jimmy Meameadola, Chief Wilson Popovi, and Chief Maseinawota of Siviri village.

By Jonas Cullwick

The Farea Lofeti Area Council of Chiefs of West Efate is convening a meeting on Wednesday, January 24 at Tanoliu Village to decide on three outstanding land cases.

These are: 1). the Unaone land case covering the area from Samoa Point to Ulei School; 2). The Siviri land case; and 3). The Leosa land case for the land behind Lelepa Island.

The Executive of the West Efate Area Council of Chiefs says it is convening a special meeting on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at Tanoliu Nakamal to decide on the three outstanding land cases.

The three outstanding cases have been pending since last year following complaints from the three parties concerned, and the Farea Lofeti Council has decided that its first meeting for 2018 will focus on these outstanding matters.

The Chairman of Farea Lofeti, Chief Wilson Popovi, has confirmed that notices for the meeting have been sent out to all the chiefs of West Efate, covering the area from Mangaliliu, Lepepa Island, Lelepa Mainland, Moso Island, Tanoliu, Malafau and Siviri villages, “to attend this very important meeting.”

The Secretary of Farea Lofeti, Chief Jimmy Meameadola, explains that the main delay to the resolutions of the cases last year hinged on the appointment of adjudicators for the tribunals to sit and hear the cases.

“Even though the appointments were approved by Farea Lofeti Council of Chiefs, ensuing resignations that followed by some of the adjudicators caused the delay,” he added.

He said the reasons for the resignations were lack of adequate training for the job leading to a lack of confidence by the appointees.

To help counter the problem, the Farea Lofeti Council of chiefs has decided to conduct a refresher workshop for the appointees for the adjudicator’s role with the help of the Customary Land Management Office staff. The training will be for current chiefs of West Efate villages and those newly ordained, to enable the chiefs’ council to have a bigger pool of leaders inside its list of adjudicators to choose from.

Jonas Cullwick, a former General Manager of VBTC is now a Senior Journalist with the Daily Post. Contact: jonas@dailypost.vu. Cell # 678 5460922

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