Fiji Sun

Wailevu chooses new chief

Ratu Aisake replaces his late uncle, Roko Dewala Niumataiwa­lu, who died on May 23.

- NACANIELI TUILEVUKA Edited by Epineri Vula Feedback: nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.

The chiefly Wailevu clan has chosen retired Police officer Ratu Aisake Botei to succeed his uncle Roko Dewala Niumataiwa­lu as the new Tui Wailevu. The 62-year-old knows the challenges that come with the role and is undaunted because he knows he has the support of the vanua.

Ratu Aisake has set his priorities and plans for his new role.

“After all traditiona­l protocols are observed and conducted, I will make sure that all traditiona­l protocols are followed through the proper channel,” he said.

“I have several official duties in the village and am sometimes seen as a mediator in disputes and a general ‘fixer’ of village or individual­s’ problems.

He said he would work towards the betterment of the village. “During my reign as Tui Wailevu I want to see villagers take big strides in education and church will be used as a tool for improving the village,” Ratu Aisake said. “Of course, everyone you meet has different values, opinions, attitudes, beliefs, cultural values, work habits, goals, ambitions and dreams. For myself, I believe in education and spiritual upbringing.” Ratu Aisake paid tribute to his late uncle and predecesso­r. “My uncle who has maternal ties to the island of Mali Macuata. He was a man of the vanua, who took pride in his role as a leader to his people,” he said.

“My uncle was a good man who always tried to do his best for the people. He was someone who was selfless and was always there for everyone.

“My uncle has done his duty to the Government (matanitu), vanua and his family, I want to continue with his legacy and our forefather­s’ teachings.”

Roko Dewala died after a short illness on May 23 and was laid to rest at the Sautabu (chiefly burial site) at Wailevu Village, outside Labasa Town, on June 7.

 ??  ?? Ratu Aisake Botei.
Ratu Aisake Botei.

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