The 50M mahogany deal stands suspended
By Elia Joseph Loful
The sealed 50 million mahogany trees project stands suspended and is not on as announced by Governor of Western Equatoria State Alfred Futuyo Karaba.
Joseph Africano Bartel, Undersecretary in the National Ministry of Environment and Forestry told Juba Monitor on phone yesterday that the national Ministry stood by its earlier order suspending the project until the contracted Uganda Company availed all necessary documents before it could be allowed to carry on the cutting of the trees.
“Yes, the information is false, nothing had changed according to the statement we issued on the suspension, we had not met, and we haven’t moved any inch; what was said in the meeting was that the company did not came in the country in the right way. If the company want to invest then it had to go and register with investment authority, get legal documents because they are not legally here,” Mr. Bartel said.
The Undersecretary stated that it is the mandate of the national government to look into issues of natural forest in the country.
According to Governor Karaba the matter was resolved in a meeting at the office of the Cabinet Minister Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro when he came to Juba two weeks ago. He said the TODAF Company was directed to obtain legal documents at the Ministry of Environment before beginning the work.
“We have agreed there is no more problem again, TODAF Company will come back again and we shall sit down to organize how to begin the implementation of this project, this company met me yesterday (Thursday) in Juba and they said the work of construction will soon begin with construction of the State parliament shamber as well as rehabilitating Gangura to Napiapai road bordering DR Congo,” Governor said.
The Governor made the statement while addressing state government officials and members of political parties at Yambio airstrip upon arrival from Juba last week Thursday.
Early this month, the national Ministry of Environment and Forestry suspended the project indefinitely and summoned TODAF engineering company contracted to execute the project saying the company did not obtain legal documents from the government.