BY SAMIE WAIKORI
A concerned citizen has called for an internal investigation on what he describes as a well-established network between foreign loggers and some staff within the Ministry of Forest and Research (MFR).
The person, who wishes anonymity, said this ‘arrangement between the loggers and officials has been going on for a long time.
The informant said the two groups serve only their interests.
“Unlike other government ministries, the MFR has large influence by foreign loggers mostly Asians on areas of their work in the country.
“And many especially locals has become victim of the network when they don’t perform to the involvement of foreign loggers in the network.
“It is believed a substantial amount of money is behind the network that manipulates the activity involved.
“As a result any can tell that privileges for foreign loggers is always rated priority for MFR officers rather than dealing with any related logging issue raised by locals,” the source said.
The source said there have been incidents in which landowners brought their grievances on logging issues to MFR, but were either turned down or stalled for years.
The source said this shows how effective the network between the two groups is.
“So with that network any grievances raised by landowners to MFR that tends to directed on the foreign loggers, the officers will deal with it in the interest of their network.
“That left the poor landowner’s victim of his own resources and again the staff within the MFR that supposed to protect the landowners.”