Chief Mulungwe of the Lala people of Mkushi district has appealed to Government to take prompt action in addressing rampant illegal cutting down of trees in his Chiefdom.
Chief Mulungwe, who was speaking in an interview with ZANIS over the weekend, said indiscriminate cutting of trees in his Chiefdom had escalated over the past five months.
He said the situation deserved urgent attention as people from outside his Chiefdom had been cutting down trees on an extensive scale without endorsement from the Mulungwe Royal Establishment and Government’s Forestry Department.
The traditional leader disclosed that when his royal council followed up the matter, it was discovered that the illegal cutting down of trees was being done by people believed to be coming from the Shaibila Chiefdom.
Chief Mulungwe said he was shocked to find that widespread illegal cutting of trees in his chiefdom was being done by people who possessed tree cutting documents that bore the heading of the Shaibila Chiefdom.
He expressed explained that the Shaibila Chiefdom was still without an official Chief since 2009 when the last Chief died.
He said that according to the Lala traditional laws regarding land and cutting of trees, only the official chief could endorse the felling down of trees.
Chief Mulungwe maintained that the on-going cutting of trees in his chiefdom was illegal, adding that the situation had further been compounded by primary findings that showed that the practice was being done by people from outside his area.
In another development, Chief Mulungwe appealed for road linkage to connect Libole area with Mulungwe.
He said that although Libole area was in his Chiefdom, residents of Libole had to endure a long journey through the Kaundula road, in order to reach Mulungwe central.
The traditional leader said the Kaundula road from the neighbouring Kaundula chiefdom was the only route that Libole residents could use whenever they needed to get to the central part of Mulungwe.
Chief Mulungwe expressed hope that the appeals would receive active consideration.