Internal Conflict at Forestry Over Office of Chief Officer

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Updated: May 11, 2017

Minister of State with responsibility for Forestry, Omar Figueroa confirmed today that the Chief Forest Officer will no longer be working out of the Forest Department building in Belmopan. Wilbur Sabido is being relocated to the ministry’s office and we are told that he is not happy about it. Reports surfaced late last week the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry, Dr. Percival Cho, asked Sabido to relocate over the Labour Day weekend. He refused and as a consequence, we are told, was locked out of his office and his belongings taken out. According to inside sources, Sabido argued that it was not a wise move to separate him from his office or his staff. However, Minister Figueroa says it is a move he is supporting.

OMAR FIGUEROA

“I consider the forest department extremely important to this country and I think that as the Minister with responsibility for forestry I must be allowed to make some administrative changes that I think will benefit the functioning, efficient and effective functioning of the department. I don’t want two or three years down the road to leave the department just the way I encountered it. I may also add here that there is no move to fire anybody, there is no move to demote anybody there is no move to transfer anybody. We are talking about a physical relocation of a desk, of an office.”

HIPOLITO NOVELO

“How would moving or relocating one individual from one physical location to another location improve the performance of the forestry department?”

OMAR FIGUEROA

“Very simple, look at my position for example. If I stay in an office somewhere I get overwhelmed with a lot of request and responsibilities that in many ways distract you I think it happens to everybody. The day to day administrating of the FD department I think as the chief if the chief is there he gets caught up in a lot of things and I think I need me and my CEO need to be given the opportunity to make some changes that we see fit to move it forward. Again it’s nothing personal; it’s just the physical relocation of an office.”

The matter was spoken about briefly during Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.