Masia claims West Fataleka township proposal ‘hoax’

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Landowners of an area marked for a township proposal in West Fataleka have denounced the plan as a ‘hoax’.

Spokesman Justin Masia said consultations held towards this ideal were done improperly and non-inclusively and are being seen by many landowners as a mere ‘fundraising drive’ by those behind the initiative.

“It’s funny when four sub-towns are already in the province; Auki, Atori, Afio and Malu’u, and no development have been happening on them for the past decades.

“If another township is built, what difference would it make? It just makes no sense.

“Instead, I suggest PRC and Dr. Luke Mani should look at developing the sub-towns and Auki town where they already exist,” he said.

On the supposed consultation done by Dr. Luke Mani last week, Masia said signatures were collected from landowners towards the proposal, but it’s important to know whether the signatories are rightful landowners or not.

“And I must emphasize that when dealing with such bigger projects like that, it’s crucial to carry out consultations and other require processes openly to all landowners and stakeholders.

“The consultation meeting held last week at Rofuki village towards the project was seen with perception and even little it may, it attached to the standoff between DCGA and MARA government,” Masia said.

A consultation meeting between tribal land-owning groups in west Fataleka and a team led by Dr. Luke Mani was held at Rufoki last Wednesday.

Two days after the meeting a memorandum of agreement was signed by the landowners towards a $20 million township project proposed for Ward five in West Fataleka.