Tue, 14 Mar 2017 11:26:35 +0000
By BENNIE MUNDANDO
GOVERNMNET should effect a total ban on the exportation of timber until better options are thought out, says Zambia Republican Party (ZRP) president Wright Musoma.
Mr Musoma said the ban was important so that government could work our modalities on on how to curb the illegal exportation of the Mukula tree before this country turns into a desert.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that there was rampant cutting and smuggling of mukula tree while huge sums of money were being paid to those in strategic positions to allow for the movement of the stock.
Mr. Musoma said a few trucks which had been impounded were nothing compared to those that sneaked out Zambia using the same illegal syndicate.
He said Zambia would be fighting a losing battle in its quest to protect the mukula tree and forests in general as there were many cartels hiding in the exportation of timber when they were in fact smuggling country of its precious Mukula.
“There are plenty of loopholes that have been created to allow the smuggling of mukula tree out of the country and you will be shocked that the same people with the responsibility of preserving our forests are the ones in the forefront aiding the scourge,
“ Our forests are engulfed into serious cutting of trees by people from within and outside the country and the systems are watching because they are beneficiaries,” said Mr Musoma
He feared that Zambia risked being a desert if government did not approach the issue with the seriousness it deserved.
“The best we can do right now is to ban all timber exports until we find a long-lasting solution against the smuggling of the mukula tree or we will have no one else to blame when this specie goes into extinction because a few individuals want to make a fortune out of it,” Mr. Musoma said.
And Mr. Musoma said there were international entities which were giving hefty allowances to some officials in the civil service to facilitate for the smuggling of the endangered species.
He said such cartels should be broken because they were the ones responsible for promoting the scourge.
“We need serious investigations to understand who is doing what or else, we stand to lose more from our natural resources as a few individuals will continue exploiting them and making a fortune for themselves,” he said.