Forest department intercepts truck with 136 smuggled mukula tree logs in Mufumbwe District

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Mukula Tree
Mukula Tree

Alert Forestry Department officers in Kasempa district in
Northwestern province have intercepted a truck carrying 136
logs of suspected mukula tree logs from Kikonge area in
Mufumbwe district destined for Lusaka.

The truck registration number ALM 2324 and trailer number ACP
64T which was being driven by Lawrence Sinyangwe of Luangwa
township in Kitwe was intercepted around 22:00 hour on Friday
night.

ZANIS reports that Northwestern province commissioner of police
Auxensio Daka confirmed the incident in a statement today
adding that the owner of the truck, Errol Rosen, 36, of
Chisamba is in police custody charged with illegal possession
of forest produce.

And North-western province minister, Richard Kapita has since
implored people in the area to be very vigilant and quickly
report any suspicious activities because some people are taking
advantage of the vastness of the area, especially in the
national park.

Mr. Kapita says the forest in the province is being decimated
and therefore, there is need for communities around the forests
to be vigilant in order to curb the illegal cutting of trees.

Recently, a combined team of security officers in Kasempa
intercepted four trucks transporting mukula logs from Mufumbwe
to Lusaka, two of which were carrying 140 logs apiece while the
other two were carrying 130 logs each.

16 people including a Chinese national who was alleged to be
the buyer of the mukula logs on three trucks were detained in
police custody then.

And in March, this year police in the same district impounded
and detained four truck containers laden with over 400 mukula
logs.

Meanwhile, The forestry department in Lusaka has today
impounded three for carrying suspected mukula tree logs without
valid documents.

ZAINS reports that Lusaka District Forestry Officer Yobe
Nyirenda who disclosed this during a press briefing at his
office today said the impounded all had no valid papers as
required by the forestry act.

Mr. Nyirenda said that the trucks were impounded at check
points during the department’s routine patrols.

“What they were supposed to pay to the government is about
three hundred and seventy five kwacha per cubic meter for
production and twenty seven kwacha for conveyance, so
multiplying the 20 cubic meters of timber in a truck is about
nine thousand in total, ” he said.

Mr. Nyirenda indicated that the timber is supposed to be
properly processed before it can be transported.

And Lusaka District Commissioner Captain Davison Mulenga says
there is need for continued sensitization on what the law says
on the forestry business.

“Lusaka is a no go area for such illegal business, we don’t
want what is happening in other districts to be replicated
here, no” Captain Mulenga said.

And one of the owners of the impounded timber Evelyn Puuka
indicated that she has all the valid documentation but was not
aware that she needed to have her papers stamped by the
forestry department.

Ms. Puuka pleaded with government to be lenient with her since
it’s her first time dealing in this business of which she did
not know about the hammer stamp.

She lamented that her truck was impounded last week Tuesday
without being charged adding that the development has greatly
affected her business and family welfare.

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