Lease deal

Fiji First Party General Secretary Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum with supporters in Drasa, Lautoka. Picture: SHAYAL DEVI

LANDOWNERS have the final say regarding land occupied by tenants, says Attorney-General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He was responding to a land lease concern raised by a resident during a FijiFirst rally at Tuvu, Lautoka, earlier this week.

Krishneel Maharaj, of Tauvegavega, Ba, said he lived in a squatter settlement and when Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama visited in 2012, residents were told make applications at the iTaukei Land Trust Board. He said as a result tenants received tenancy at will agreements in 2013.

“This year, TLTB has given us a notice saying that tenancy at will is no longer valid,” he said.

“The FijiFirst Government is giving leases almost everywhere, whoever has made an application, from my relatives and friends but I do not know what the reason was for TLTB giving me a termination letter of land being terminated.”

FijiFirst general secretary Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum responded by saying that if landowners did not agree to give tenants a long-term lease or a permanent lease, Government could not force them.

“So some places, the landowners have agreed, they get paid the lease money, they get the premium, you buy the lease and they get a 99-year lease,” he said.

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