08 APR 2008- www.fijilive.com
Members of the chiefly Vunivalu clan of Serua are meeting in Navua to discuss a request by the Native Land Commission for the names of installed chiefs in the province.
Roko Tui Serua Vanalagi Vesikula says the request by NLC is in relation to new laws to have only installed chiefs as members of the Great Council of Chiefs.
Vesikula adds the commission has requested that the province provide information on installed and uninstalled chiefs.
The Vunivalu of Serua, Ratu Penaia Latianara, is the paramount chief of the province.
However, close to 20 chiefs in the province have either been installed or are yet to be anointed and this is a worry for the NLC.
Serua is the smallest province in Fiji with an estimated population of 5,000.
GCC taskforce chairman Ratu Josateki Nawalowalo says Serua has a good record of installed chiefs.
“This is because the province has a lot of natural resources like logging, fishing, exporting of spring water and chains of hotels,” he said.
“So if you are not an installed chief you don’t get lease money from all these benefits and that’s the reason provinces along the Coral Coast have so many installed chiefs.”
Ratu Josateki says one of the main requirements of the Interim Government is for chiefs to be installed in all provinces.
“At the moment 80 per cent of chiefs are not installed so it’s very hard to know who’s who nowadays,” he said.