A former top government minister has accused the national government of not living up its word in the land accusation process.
And further warns the national project involving the Tina River hydro-project will not be successful if government fails to follow the right procedures.
Walton Naezon who is the current provincial member for Malango ward in Central Guadalcanal made the statement yesterday while labeling the present government as a ‘lair’.
He said in February 2014 the Honourable Prime Minister and the minister of environment assured the Malango and Bahomea House of chiefs, landowners, community leaders and the provincial government that no compulsory acquisition will apply to any land for the purpose of the hydro-power project development.
“They assured the chiefs and landowners that government Cabinet approves that all lands for the hydro development shall follow the process of the customary land records Act, and the Cabinet totally rejected any process or government undertaken under the Land and Titles Act Division 2- Compulsory Acquisition of Land.”
He said the assurance of no compulsory acquisition is now water under the bridge and the project office is currently conducting land dealings the opposite way where project office is conducting with individual tribal groupings to secure a consent agreement for the purpose of applying Division 2- of the Land and Titles Act, the compulsory acquisition.
Mr Naezon warned that if government fails to adhere, the hydro-project will fail.
“I warn the current government that Tina hydro development project will not be successful if government continues to tell liars to landowners, people of the country and development partners.
“Current government please follow the law of the land and stop applying short cuts or advice the project office to immediately stop bulling my people, or a call to sack the project manager. “When the project office refused to follow Cabinet directions you are not following the law of the land and you already trespassed in my customary land putting pegs without my tribes concern.”
The Prime Ministers Office when contacted yesterday said an official response will be made today by the responsible minister.
“The environment minister will make an official response tomorrow (today).”