5 trucks carrying timber intercepted

Mukula tree timber
Mukula tree timber

Forestry authorities have intercepted five trucks carrying illegally harvested timber in Nakonde District in Muchinga Province.

The five trucks were intercepted at Wulongo police check point yesterday.

Nakonde District Commissioner James Singoyi says the five trucks were carrying illegal timber of the famous Mukula tree harvested from Eastern Province of Zambia.

Mr. Singoyi has told ZANIS that the truck drivers had fake documents for other goods which they purportedly were to export through the port of Dar-se-salaam in Tanzania.

He says the five drivers have since been detained to help with investigations.

Mr. Singoyi has warned people dealing in illegal timber and other
illegal merchandise that they will not go scot free.

He has further directed Law Enforcement Agencies at Nakonde border to be on high alert and ensure that no illegal goods are allowed to leave or enter the country.

Several trucks have in the recent passed been intercepted in joint
operations that have been conducted by the Ministry of Lands and Zambia Police in the Eastern and Lusaka Provinces.

On Tuesday, Lands Minister Mwansa Kapeya says government may be forced to ban timber exports if illegal cutting down of tress and exportation continues.

Mr. Kapeya says government will not sit idle and watch a few individuals rob the nation of the much needed revenue that can be realized from the legal exportation of timber.

A Chinese national was last week arrested in Lusaka in connection with illegal trade in timber.

And Mr. Kpaeya says the PF government is committed to ensuring that funds received from donors are utilized for the intended purpose.

He has assured the donors that the Zambian government recognizes that proper utilization of funds is key in the development agenda of the government.

He was speaking during a high level Ministers and Donors meeting in Burundi on Wednesday.

Inutu Mwanza reports from Burundi that four African countries bordering Lake Tanganyika are meeting to mobilize funds for the proper utilization and Sustainable management of natural resources in the share region.

Mr Kapeta says the Zambian government is concerned about the threats to the Lake Tanganyika that include sedimentation ,pollution ,climate change and overfishing.

He says is why government attaches great importance to programmes and projects that give prominence on issues of sustaining biodiversity while uplifting the lives of communities around the lake.

Earlier, Tanzanian Minister of state Samia Hassan has called for concerted efforts in preserving Lake Tanganyika fish species as well as animals around the lake basin.

Congolese Minister of Agriculture Jean Vahamwitti expressed concern at the unregulated human activities around the lake.

The donors that have been invited for the meeting include the European Union, African Development Bank and UNDP among others.