The silence being applied by the Western Equatoria government and the national ministry of Environment and Forestry over the 50 million mahogany deals is deafening and not doing well to the public. Early this month, Juba Monitor exposed the move by Western Equatoria in which a five years contract was signed with a Uganda firm for the falling or cutting down 50 million trees at 2.5 billion USD. While the position of the contract still remain unclear to the public, immediately, thereafter, the national docket holder Minister, Josephine Napwon promised to suspend the project until the issue was made clear. The ministry promised to do so after carrying out thorough findings from both the state government and the Uganda Company. The promise is not forthwith coming and the matter seems to have been swept under the carpet.This has left the public, particularly, the community which the project was allegedly intended for. Why the public should be denied their right to know and be responsible for what is rightfully theirs. Such behaviors are considered doubtful and not transparent as it should be. If there is nothing to hide, then let the public know what is going on instead of being silent which is now being translated to mean “admission”. The project is huge one which will create employment and generate income for development for the state and the national coffer, therefore, it has to be handled with honesty and truth based on the accountability and transparency. The era of some people claiming to be doing some things on behalf of the general public are long gone. Things should be done collectively with full knowledge of the public who are the end beneficiaries of such projects. The national ministry and the Western State government should not leave the public in the dark.

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