A NUMBER of landowners have expressed their disappointment over the Asia Pacific Investment Development (APID) mining operation in Rennell, suggesting similar approach to the beche-de-mer saga be applied by setting up a commission of inquiry.
A landowner who declined to be named said, that the mining operation by APID has further worsen the land disputed tension and hatred between tribes, families, communities and even real brothers as logging started to wind down and mining took its turn.
“Now it comes to our knowledge that APID didn’t follow the formal process to acquire their Mining License (ML) particularly the land acquisition process which was never done properly for Rennell people to have their voice heard,” the land owner stated.
This surfaced in the media recently when huge numbers of questions and evidences exposed the breaching of the relevant sections contain in the Mines & Mineral Act, that remain unanswered by the responsible authority.
“We are now calling the Minister for Mines & Energy with consent from the DCCG to set up an independent commission of inquiry to investigate the illegal operation of APID in West Rennell, and apprehend those Mines’ officials who facilitate their illegal dealings that violated the Mines & Minerals Act,” two landowners stated.
The Renbell man dubbed the previous government as corrupt government as they are the ones who speed up the process to issue a mining license to APID knowing that the parliament will dissolve in few days’ time.
“Therefore people from the relevant ministries who associated with the last government to facilitate corruption should be removed so that the independent commission of inquiry could review all the systems and processes, including the licensing criteria and conditions.”
The landowners want the Minister for Mines to do the same thing that the Minister for Fisheries did to the bechedemer case inorder to disclose some loopholes that can unveil corruption.
An attempt to get a foreign middle man of APID who fluently speaking English to shed some lights on the allegation raised against them was unsuccessful, since he keeps turning off his mobile phone when contacted.
By AATAI JOHN