Mukula timber intercepted
Chinsali, September 10, 2014, ZANIS…About 70 tonnes of Mukula timber have been intercepted at Mpika and Chinsali districts in Muchinga province .
ZANIS reports that three people have meanwhile been arrested in connection with the illegal timber.
Both Muchinga province Permanent Secretary Bwalya Ngándu and Principal Forestry Officer Evaristo Nonde have confirmed the development in an interview with the Zambia News and Information Services (ZANIS) in Chinsali today.
Dr. Ngándu said four trucks which include one Ugandan, two Tanzanian and one Zambian have since been impounded by the police and are currently parked at both Mpika and Chinsali police stations.
Dr. Bwalya said the Ugandan and the Tanzanian trucks intercepted at Mpika were loaded with 60 tones of Mukula timber and were destined for Dar-es-salaam in Tanzania.
He said for the Chinsali operation, police have impounded a Tanzanian truck with a 40 foot container and a Fuso truck belonging to a Lusaka businessman.
Dr. Bwalya said the Tanzanian and Zambian trucks were found loading Mukula timber near Chipunga Primary school in Chinsali on Sunday night adding that the driver of the Zambian truck escaped while his Tanzanian counterpart was apprehended.
The Provincial Permanent Secretary has warned that Government has declared war against illegal timber dealers adding that whoever will be found dealing in the scum or aiding timber dealers will be dealt with firmly.
Dr. Ngándu who has since commended the police and the department of forestry in the province for being vigilant said he would source for more resources to ensure that the war with illegal timber dealers is expanded and all the perpetrators are brought to book.
“I wish to sound a warning to all the people illegally dealing in timber that they will face the wrath of the law once caught,” said Dr. Ngándu.
He said people cutting down trees for export are economic saboteurs who should be dealt with accordingly.
And Muchinga Principal Forestry Officer Evaristo Nonde said his department has waged war against illegal timber dealers in the province.
Meanwhile, the two trucks impounded in Mpika which were also carrying copper have been allowed to take the commodity and offload it at Nakonde and have the trucks returned to Mpika.
The trucks will be escorted by armed police officers to ensure they are brought back to Mpika.