MOYO – Moyo Resident District Commissioner has landed himself in trouble for bailing South Sudanese illegal timber dealer from security arrest.
Environmental activists and whistleblowers have reported the matter to relevant authorities for investigation.
A whistle blowers tweeted that “RDC Moyo Mr. Bob Williams Labeja is deeply rooted in classified illegal logging at South Sudan – Uganda border.
Logging is illegal in security agencies must nurture our environment.
The env’t is all we have for all” the tweet reads.
A group, calling itself, Friends of ZOKA has come out to condemn the act of the Resident District Commissioner and demands an investigation.
“We condemn this heinous acts against our environment and we call upon all mandated and responsible authorities to expeditiously investigate and bring the culprits to book” friends of Zoka tasks.
“Let’s take serious environmental crimes if we are to save mankind” the states in a tweet send Anti Graft unit at Uganda’s State House and Inspectorate General of Government (IGG), Uganda.
The whistle blowers have also alerted Government Spokesperson, Mr. Ofono Opondo, who is also the Executive Director of Media Centre and other global anti graft agencies.
Mr. Labeja’s troubles stemmed from an authorization letter he allegedly authored to security personnel to free logs that were I pounded on Ugandan soil.
This, the RDC did in disregard to an administrative letter from a Mr. Sanitino Tali Daniel, the Executive Director of Kangapo County of the defunct Yei River State in South Sudan, requesting for the arrest of illegal loggers who had transported their booty across the border.
Mr. Tali,in his letter dated 30th April,2020, pointed at a company, he identified as AGWET LOGGING COMPANY, based in Moyo district of Uganda being responsible for illegal plundering of trees in South Sudan.
He requested the illicit logs impounded, owners of the said company apprehended and extradition for prosecution in South Sudan.
“Our greetings during and best wishes to you in Uganda during this difficult time of COVID-19 pandemic. Wish all quick recovery from this corrosive pandemic across Africa and the whole World” the executive director’s letter, in friendly gesture, begins.
“We have received blame information from our state authorities of logging exercise in Moijo stream of Kangapo defunct County and opening a logging route from Limited via Moijo stream crossing to Uganda in Gbare for transportation of logs from Kajo-keji to Uganda” Mr. Tali traces the route of the plunderers.
“Our investigations found out that AGWET LOGGING COMPANY stationed in Moyo district is the perpetrator of this, inspite of warning and stoppage of their illegal logging activities inside South Sudan. They have transit logs from Limited to Uganda this week and the loading process is done inside Uganda, beyond our borders” Mr. Tali, seeking a helping hand from his counterpart, explains.
Acknowledging a positive cooperation that existed among the two neighboring administration units, the executive director recalls a meeting they held last year where an understanding was reached for them to resolve issues a among the border communities.
” As per our cooperation meeting last year, in the office of the deputy RDC Moyo, we would request your administration to arrest this logging in your jurisdiction including investigation and arrest to this company members who likely would want to spoil our good cooperation in the border. This will help our state government to approach and then bring them for investigation in South Sudan” the head of Kangapo County urged his Ugandan counterpart in the letter, to assist in ending the vice.
Contrary to the humbly gesture of Kangapo Executive Director, Sanitino Tali Daniel, his Moyo District colleague issued a permission for security forces to offer protection for one escaping arrest.
“Attn: Police/UPDF commandant.
The bearer of this note, Mr. Joseph Mayan I’d a businessman. He has been granted permission to load his logs which were here on Ugandan site. Please accord him the necessary assistance” the letters reads.
The letter, dated 11th May 2020, that Red Pepper digital has seen a copy bears the stamp and header of office of Moyo Resident District Commissioner.
The alleged letter from Moyo RDC was issued over 10 days after that of Kangapo defunct county Executive Director. It is not clear whether the RDC received the letter from South Sudan or not.
The Moyo RDC, Mr. Bob William Labeja told Red Pepper digital that he was busy in a meeting when he was contracted to ascertain authenticity of the letter purported to be from his office and also whether his had received the letters from South Sudan.
An inquiry to State House Anti Graft Unit on whether indeed they had received such a complaints and also what steps taken, were in vain.