“We would rather be poor than continue to be raped and looted by these dubious foreigners,” Wale.
Leader of Opposition Matthew Wale has called on the government to place an indefinite moratorium on mining licenses – both prospecting and mining leases until new legislation has been passed in parliament or at the very least that the weaknesses in the current law are rectified.
Speaking in Parliament yesterday on the Special adjournment debate, Wale said the first-come-first-served rule in the current law is outdated and is a great risk to the proper management of the minerals sector. He adds it is being exploited by companies with dubious capacity owned by shareholders with dubious character.
“The gov’t’s policy to fast track three mining licenses is a bad decision. Our minerals are a non-renewable resource and must be protected,” the MP for Aoke/Langalanga, said.
Wale said the companies that are being considered for these fast tracked licenses have a clear and direct association with individuals “we know from the logging industry to have participated in transfer pricing and other illegal and unethical conduct.”
He said the gov’t must not allow the practices in the logging industry to be migrated over to the mining industry.
“If no changes are made to current legislation before those licenses are issued, it will be clear that gov’t is intent on ensuring that those bad practices are repeated in mining. And this country and its people will again be the biggest losers. It is a terrible excuse to say these licenses need to be fast tracked to increase gov’t revenues. We would rather be poor than continue to be raped and looted by these dubious foreigners,” Wale to Parliament yesterday.