Illegal timber trading rife in Isoka

Mukula tree timber
Mukula tree timber

Villagers in Katyeteye’s Chiefdom in Isoka District of Muchinga Province have gone on rampage cutting down the famous Mukula tree for sale.

Chief Katyetye of the Tambo people of Isoka has disclosed to ZANIS in Isoka today saying many of his subjects and suspected foreigners from neighbouring Tanzania are cutting down Mukula trees in the area.

The traditional ruler lamented that for the past six months some villagers have been involved in illegal cutting of timber in his chiefdom.

“Yes they are cutting the trees at a very high rate, “said Chief Katyetye .

He further revealed that the issue was reported to the Forestry Department staff who even travelled to the area but have allegedly done nothing.

Chief Katyetye explained that at the beginning of 2014 local people aided foreigners to steal sawn timber form Muputu tree in his area.

Chief Katyetye noted that about three trucks loaded with planks set for export were intercepted after he reported to law enforcement agencies and some Zambian citizens and foreigners were arrested and sentenced to jail.

He however, wondered why this time local people have turned into harvesting Mukula tree in his area.

Chief Katyetye appealed to his subjects not to involve themselves into illegal timber activities as the law would catch up with them one day.

He added that timber trading which is taking place in his area was so devastating as rivers would dry up saying the rain pattern has also been affected due to environmental degradation.

And a ZANIS news crew that rushed to Nazareth, Chilonga, Matemula and Katyetye villages found about 1,000 x 2.5 meters logs piled in various loading bays ready to be transported to Nakonde porous border post.

Mukula tree is a very marketable tree species that may face extinction if no serious measures are put in place.