After my chat with the LRO officer in the Gelephu Dungkhag, and my taste of his total confidence in their committee’s decision and the power of the local government, and the seeming confusion in the rest of the government over the limits of the power of these local governments, I wasn’t sure quite what to do.
It was obvious that the decision was unjust and therefore unacceptable. But it seems pretty often that being right has very little currency in this country.
Anyway, it turns out that after my visit to the Gyalpoi Zimpon’s office, and following their discussion with the National Land Commission, enquiries were made and it was confirmed that my land had been distributed to re-settlers whose kidu land was short on the ground.
The National Land Commission apparently told the Dungkhag officials that their action was inappropriate when the land owner had appealed to His Majesty for kidu. Apparently even the National Land Commission officials were bluntly told that it was ‘too late’ and that the deed had been done.
Do you describe this as ‘bold’ or ‘cheeky’ or plain ‘stupid’? Has decentralization come too soon with local officials given powers before knowing the limits of it? That would be the ONLY defense these officials would have at their disposal if their actions were to be audited. That they were too incompetent to know it.
Anyway, the National Land Commission did the next appropriate thing by saying the same thing in writing. If the local government officials persist despite this, then all that needs to be done is hand a copy of the letter to the nearest audit officer.
Improper procedures, or the disregard for the set procedures is also known as ‘abuse of power’, a very serious form of corruption