East PS issues directive over illegal timber

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East PS issues directive over illegal timber

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Chipata, July 24, 2014, ZANIS….Eastern Province Permanent Secretary

Chileshe Mulenga has directed District Commissioners in the Province

to ensure that all arrests made with regard to the illegal timber

trade are not taken to court.

 

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Dr Mulenga said during the second quarter Provincial Development

Coordinating Committee (PDCC) this morning that matters concerning the

illegal timber trade only resulted in the auctioning of the impounded

timber when taken to court.

 

He told the District Commissioners to ensure that the police in their

respective districts do not take such matters to court.

 

But Chipata District Commissioner Kalunga Zulu argued that the police

are obliged by Law to take matters to court within 48 hours of any

arrests.

 

Mr Zulu said after consultation with Law enforcement officers, he

realized that all cases were supposed to be taken to court otherwise

one would come into conflict with the Law.

 

Nyimba District Commissioner George Phiri disclosed that Nyimba

district will next week auction Mukula timber logs that were recently

impounded in illegal trade.

 

Mr Phiri also noted that Nyimba district is a transit point in the

illegal trade and observed that it is becoming difficult to capture

illegal dealers as they are now using other vehicles to monitor police

check points before transporting the commodity.

 

“There is usually a smaller vehicle which is used to check if there

are police check points and the drivers of the smaller vehicles are

the ones who alert those carrying the timber on whether to go ahead or

not,” he said.

 

And Sinda District Commissioner Janet Mvula called for reinforcement

in the fight against timber trade saying her district does not have

vehicles for forestry officers to carryout patrols.

 

Ms Mvula said most government departments do not have vehicles saying

the Law enforcement officers once used her vehicle when they impounded

a truck which was used in the transportation of the logs.

 

Meanwhile, Mambwe District Commissioner Caroline Mwanza noted that the

issue of transport was a major challenge, saying areas that are

reported to have high illegal timber trade such as Msoro and Mphomwa

are distances away from Mambwe Boma and that forestry officers require

vehicles to carryout patrols in the area.

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