Mystery Surrounds Tragic Death in Labasa

A family in Naduna, Labasa is demanding answers following the tragic death of 26-year-old sugarcane laborer Jovilisi Katonibau last Thursday.

The circumstances, believed to involve a hit-and-run incident, have left his mother, Salome Dikere, 55, in profound sorrow.

Ms. Dikere, sharing her heartbreak, revealed how her life was torn apart when police informed her of her son’s death, which occurred just a few meters from their home.

“Since my husband passed away in 2015, Jovilisi has been my support, helping care for my nine grandchildren and ensuring they attend Vunimoli Islamia Primary School,” she said.

Jovilisi, her fourth eldest child, was a committed yaqona farmer in Drekeniwai Village, Cakaudrove. He often came back to Labasa during his free time to work as a sugarcane laborer, providing financial assistance to his family.

Recalling the events of July 3, Ms. Dikere mentioned that her son arrived home around 6pm after a day of cutting sugarcane.

They were getting ready to attend a prayer service at the nearby church.

“He disappeared before the service ended, without saying where he was going. The next day, I received the devastating news,” she recounted, tears filling her eyes.

“He had never left without informing me and always encouraged his nieces and nephews to study.”

Struggling to stem her tears, Ms. Dikere expressed: “I need to know what happened that night so I can explain to my grandchildren why their uncle will not be coming back.”

Divisional Police Commander Northern, Senior Superintendent of Police Kemueli Baledrokadroka, stated that the investigation is ongoing.

The results of the post-mortem examination will direct the next steps in the case.

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