MP Michel Moawad, President of the Independence Movement, held a press conference in Mejdlaya to reply to the calumnies concerning the garbage issue in North Lebanon districts as well as the article 80 of the state budget. MP Moawad first refused any aspersion of sectarianism and accused the garbage mafias of manipulating this campaign against him. He said: “we resisted the tutelage authority and won the battle with our beliefs, and today we are resisting and we will win with the truth. Garbage mafias will be defeated like the tutelage regime was beat years ago.” He added that article 80 will unveil the truth.
MP Moawad declared that the garbage issue in Zgharta Zawieh district is unbearable and 150 thousand citizens cannot stand the results of the mismanagement
He added: “I endured all the previous campaigns against me but this time garbage mafias tried to accuse me, President Moawad’s family and the Independence Movement of the garbage issue and the article 80, and this is unacceptable. I totally understand that citizens in our districts have no confidence in the State’s decision and it is all because of the mismanagement.”
MP Moawad declared that the garbage mafias are people who only think about money and financial profits and cannot see the damages caused by the accumulated garbage. He added that the mafias influence in the authority is quite powerful and is more important than the citizens’ health and lives. In fact, they financed the campaign, gave it a sectarianism aspect and tried to obstruct all given solutions. We cannot accept to be accused of dealing with the garbage issue and the article 80 in a sectarianism mentality.
He ensured that “we really do believe in coexistence. And the Independence Movement is an obvious proof of our rejection to all kinds of sectarianism. We also practice this coexistence through our projects in Rene Moawad Foundation that are executed in different regions in Lebanon, regardless the religion or the sect of their citizens.” He added “we will not the mafias play the sectarianism cards, so from the beginning we decided to agree on any convenient solution regarding the garbage issue in the four districts.”
Concerning the garbage issue, MP Moawad explained: “I am not responsible of this current crisis. It is not about Zgharta MPs. The problem lies in the performance of two parties: first, the local authorities, i.e. municipalities and the federation of municipalities are directly responsible of this problem; second, the government when it failed to manage the issue. In Zgharta, the problem lies with the federation of municipalities and it started by its failure to manage the performance of the municipalities. Moreover, the federation of municipalities refused to sign a “waste managing” project proposed by Rene Moawad Foundation in 2016. Zgharta Zawieh issues cannot be solved based on political &profitable backgrounds accompanied by monopolistic practices.
He added “after the closure of Adweh dumpsite in North Lebanon, I interfered to find a solution for this major crisis but I cannot accept this situation anymore. Garbage is left on the roads, between houses and is endangering the citizens’ health. When all solutions were rejected, politic accusations were diffused.” He ensured that he communicated with different politic parties and “as a result, we held a meeting with the Minister of Environment, attended by mayors from the four districts, representatives of parties and agreed to deal with the garbage issue away from the political disagreements, in order to find the best solution for this crisis. We decided to choose a healthy dumpsite according to specific standards based on a true transparent study. However, the agreement went in a wrong way while our citizens’ health is threatened.” He added “the Minister of Environment suggested a landfill in Fouwar, proposed by “the Future Movement” on which agreed PM Saad Hariri. Our responsibility is to ask for the environmental study and to manage the dumpsite according to the given standards. References in Fouwar refused the decision; after days of protestations led by the citizens of Fouwar& Baddawi, accompanied by the Future Movement supporters, Cheikh Ahmad Hariri visted Fouwar and protested against the dumpsite. This behavior left us confused. We knew from the media that the Future Movement changed his position,”
Regarding Terbol dumpsite, MP Moawad ensured that minister Fady Jreissati announced to find the solution in a land in Terbol, but the mafias interfered and are the pickups owners and the former MP Jean Obeid who owns a house in Terbol. He rejected the solution for a personal reason and the voice messages that he sent to minister Jreissati are the proof. And the third factor of this mafia is the CEO of EL Mirador company, Ahmad Abdel Kader Alameddine (Al Douri) who owns a land located at 900 meters away from the suggested dumpsite, so he presented a study showing that 11 million 700 thousand dollars are required to establish a healthy dumpsite at the site. So, it is evident to ask: if this amount is paid, the garbage issue will not be related to sectarianism anymore? Not to forget also the videos and the insults that accompanied this campaign.”
MP Moawad added “in fact, we are dealing with a financial issue based on personal profits and interests. Minister Jreissati ensured that PM Hariri commanded a security company to open Terbol dumpsite. However, this reality was transmitted in the opposite way to the citizens, pretending that PM Hariri did not agree on this dumpsite. Moreover, Cheikh Ahmad Hariri declared that he refused to establish this dumpsite. This positions’ change is unacceptable and is not leading to any solution but to confuse the general opinion. “
He said “I started this press conference with the garbage issue to continue with my signature on the decision to annul the last clause of article 80 of the state budget. This was a directed campaign and accused me to refuse the Muslims employment. I will not discuss this issue until the 17th of October. Then, I will hold a press conference and the truth will be revealed with all the parties and the agreement between the PM Hariri and President Aoun will be unveiled.”
PM Moawad added “For now, it was decided to pick all the garbage from the streets to a temporary parking for three months according to the environmental standards. A sustainable solution is suggested now and I ask the citizens to give this solution a chance, and If it fails, I will be the first to protest with them. The Lebanese government approved on a decision of a land acquisition, as a sustainable solution, in Al Hawakir. Our mission is to control the execution activity and to make sure that it is compatible with the required standards and the environmental study; otherwise, we will refuse this solution. I , also, thank PM Hariri who requested a study to transform this land into a healthy dumpsite with high standards.”
He ended “we are asking for a good management of our district. We cannot continue with this policy, wishing that the mayor of Zgharta will follow the same path as he did lately, because development should not be linked to politics.”