WALE QUESTIONS RESHUFFLING OF TOGAMANA

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Wale claims his resufflle could be linked to his strong stance against export of tubi

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Leader of Opposition Hon. Matthew Wale questions the reshuffling of the former Minister for Environment, Climate Change, Disaster Management and Meteorology, Hon. Culwick Togamana and cautions Isabel landowners to be warry of power brokers in the DCGA government, hell bent on serving the interests of their business cohorts.

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“If the only reason Minister Togamana was moved was because of his stance against the export of a consignment of tubi logs from Isabel as earlier reported, then the Prime Minister must explain to the public why this is so important as against the good work that he had done in that Ministry especially in upholding law and due process?

Mr. Togamana is both qualified and has been a strong advocator of the high environmental standards and best international development practices- these are qualities that are priceless and should be embraced by any government at any level of leadership.

Wale said therefore it raises eye-brows when the government makes a decision to the contrary. 

He adds, the PM must come out with the truth for otherwise, what seems to be the case is, the removal was a political move orchestrated by key power brokers in the DCGA government, done to serve the interests of business cohorts that continue to finance their dubious activities.

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“It is public knowledge that activities in our resource sector and the key ministries have been largely dictated by Hon. Bradly Tovosia in his term as responsible Minister for mines in the last 2 governments. He has been instrumental in bringing in Chinese business interests in the logging and mining sector under controversial circumstances, and has also been responsible for promoting Chinese business interest in the mineral sector in Isabel Province,” Wale said in his statement

He said the logging and mining laws are partly dependent on the Environment Act in relation to the granting of development consents and environment and impact assessment approvals hence, it is important that someone neutral and strong holds the position at all times to maintain a balance.  

Wale said with Mr. Togamana’s removal and the strong influence that Mr. Tovosia has in the resource sector, one cannot help but wonder whether Minister Togamana had in fact stepped on the toes of these power brokers hence must be pay the price.

“If the swap is truly political then this is a move that will now consolidate control by Mr. Tovosia over the key ministries in our resource sector.  This is a worrying picture and clearly does not reflect well on the Prime Minister and his government. 

“I therefore call on the Prime Minister to come out publicly and explain whether the decision was politically driven or not? While we could do with any form of revenue we can get in these trying times, the need to ensure law and due process is maintained at all times is equally paramount in our resource sector if we are to attract the right kind of investors.  Therefore if politics is involved, the Prime Minister must act and if Mr. Tovosia is involved, he must sack him now.

I also caution the leaders and people of Isabel Province to be careful in dealing with any mining company that has interest in logging tubi. Any logging company that presents itself as a mining company should never be trusted on face value, especially if it is being promoted by senior government Ministers and officials,” the statement said.

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