Government again postpones action on SABL land grab and illegal logging
Between 2003 and 2010 over 5 million hectares of land was stolen from village people using fraudulent SABL leases. Many of the leases are being used as a cover for illegal logging operations. In 2013 a Commission of Inquiry said the leases were unlawful and should be revoked. But the government is still delaying taking any action while foreign logging companies clear-fell the forests and ship the profits off-shore.
Below is the latest statement from the government explaining how it is doing nothing to cancel the leases, and won’t be doing anything in the foreseeable future, while trying to pretend it is taking the issue seriously.
“Chief Secretary to Government, Manasupe Zurenuoc, has applauded the Special Agriculture & Business Leases (SABL) Implementation Taskforce, for the outstanding report to implement the recommendations found during the Commission of Inquiry into SABLs.
APPLAUDED A TASK FORCE THAT WAS SET UP EIGHTEEN MONTHS AFTER THE GOVT RECEIVED THE COI REPORT AND WHICH HAS TAKEN OVER TEN MONTHS TO PRODUCE A REPORT THAT ANY COMPETENT LAWYER COULD HAVE PRODUCED IN A WEEK!
AND WHERE IS THIS OUTSTANDING REPORT? OF COURSE THE GOVT IS KEEPING THAT FIRMLY UNDER WRAPS…
“This special taskforce is comprised of Dr Laurence Sause (Chair & Policy and Government Advisor) and two retired public servants Kutt Paonga (Legal advisor) and Daniel Katakumb (Land Advisor). Sir Manasupe said in 2011 the government set up a Commission of Inquiry into SABLs, which found that many leases needed to be revoked.
THAT IS RIGHT – THE COI WAS SET UP IN 2011 – MORE THAN FOUR YEARS AGO!!!
SINCE THEN LOGS WORTH HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS HAVE BEEN SHIPPED OVERSEAS AND THOUSANDS OF HECTARES OF FOREST TRASHED WHILE THE GOVT HAS SAT ON ITS HANDS
“He said the government then referred the matter to a ministerial committee to implement the findings of that particular inquiry. “However, the ministerial committee could not progress much for various reasons,” Sir Manasupe said.
AND WHAT WERE THOSE REASONS? THE PUBLIC DESERVES TO BE TOLD WHY THE GOVT MINISTERS COULDN”T DO THEIR JOB? MAYBE BECAUSE THEY WERE BEING PAID OFF BY THE LOGGING COMPANIES?
“He said towards the end of 2014, Cabinet set up a special taskforce – SABL Implementation Taskforce – under the Chief Secretary, to look at means and ways on how to effectively implement the COI findings.
SO THE FIRST COMMITTEE DOES NOTHING FOR 18 MONTHS AND THEN THE GOVERNMENT SETS UP ANOTHER AND WE DON”T HEAR FROM THEM FOR NEARLY ANOTHER 12 MONTHS
“Currently the laws are complicated and ineffective to revoke these leases therefore amendments to the legislation will be considered.
BULLSHIT! SINCE 2007 THE NATIONAL COURT HAS REVOKED FIVE SABL LEASES. THE LAWS ARE VERY SIMPLE AND REVOKING THE LEASES IS STRIGHTFORWARD (UNLESS OF COURSE YOU ARE BEHOLDEN TO THE LEASE HOLDERS AND THE LOGGING COMPANIES)
“From the report provided by this special taskforce, the government now has a clear way to implement the revocation of non-genuine leases. “I commend the taskforce for a job well done in making it easier for the government to move forward,” Sir Manasupe said.He said the taskforce had advised the government on how best to implement the findings of the COI.
SO IT HAS TAKEN THE GOVT 833 DAYS TO FIND A WAY FORWARD?
THE GOVT MUST EITHER BE INCOMPETENT OR CORRUPT – YOU CHOOSE!
“Out of the 75 SABLs throughout the country, only 42 SABL reports were provided by only two members of the commission – Nicholas Mirou and John Numapo – who provided finding recommendations that 30 were to be cancelled, 11 to be suspended and that only one SABL was in order. “The other 30 SABL reports, however, have not been received by the government hence the government is now pursuing other actions to obtain them,” Sir Manasupe said.
NOW PURSUING ‘OTHER ACTIONS’ – WHAT ACTIONS? AND AGAIN WHY THE DELAY OF 27 MONTHS?
“He also announced that the report was now ready to go before Cabinet for approval.
AND WHEN WILL THAT HAPPEN?
“In the not too distant future, the government hopes that some of the land will be returned to landowners,” Sir Manasupe said.
FANTASTIC! ‘NOT TOO DISTANT FUTURE’!!!
AND NOTE – THE GOVT HOPES…. – NO PROMISES THERE!!!
AND ONLY “SOME OF THE LAND WILL BE RETURNED”