Africa 

Gabon president fires vice, forestry minister over timber scandal

Gabon’s Vice President and Minister of State for Forests and the Environment have been relieved of their posts by presidential decree in connection with a timber scandal that rocked the central African country.

Pierre Claver Maganga Moussavou Vice President since 2016 and Minister Guy-Bertrand Mapangou were both dismissed in a government statement posted on social media.

The decree formed part of a reshuffle by President Ali Bongo and announced late Tuesday by Secretary General at the presidency, Jean Yves Teale.

The latest development is an offshoot of what has become known as the “Kevazingo Gate” in which illegally felled special hardwood of 353 containers worth nearly $250 million was reported stolen from a cache of 392 intercepted at the port of Owendo in late February and early March this year.

Gabonese officials suspended over Kevazingo Gate

By decree of the President of the Republic on this day. The functions of the vice-president of the Republic Mr Pierre Claver Manganga Moussavou, by decree of the President of the Republic on this day, is put to an end as is that of the Minister of State for Forests and the Environment Guy-Bertrand Mapangou, Teale said.

In recent days, the two personalities, had been questioned by Prime Minister Julien Nkoghe Bekale for their respective roles in the suspected precious wood scandal. The two reports said strongly denied complicity in the affair which the president has vowed to punish all perpetrators.

In the middle of May, Gabon’s prosecutor general Olivier N’zahou said 71 of the missing containers were found on the port premises of Cameroon-registered transport company SOTRASGAB, and 129 were found on the property of company Owendo Container Terminal (OCT).

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