Report officers involved in SABLs: Minister

Report police officers who are operating for companies in controversial Special Agriculture Business Lease (SABL) areas around the country.

Minister for Police, Jelta Wong, said he issued a statement last year that police should not be used to intimidate or harass landowners, and that stance has not changed.

Following his appointment last year, Minster Wong said police are not to interfere in SABL matters.

He also said the National Executive Council Decision of 187/2014 to revoke and cancel all SABLs was in force and there should not be any such operation.

“The stance is still the same. I put out a statement when I was one month into the job. I said that no policemen will be in those SABL areas.

“If there is some there, then they are breaking the law, they will be reprimanded. We will get their names and they will be dealt with,” he said.

Despite the government directive, there are reports surfacing of police interference in disputes between landowners and companies purportedly operating under SABLs.

The Minister said if such incidents are occurring, they must be reported to the relevant authorities.

“At the moment, we haven’t heard from these landowner areas, but when we do, it’s up to the people to report them,” stated the Minister.

“Give us their name, give us their regimental numbers, and we’ll go after them.

“As the Prime Minister did say, he didn’t want any policeman in the area and that’s what we’re doing.”

Cedric Patjole