Police in Isoka District of Muchinga province have launched a man hunt for two suspected foreigners who abandoned a truck loaded with Mukula logs.
The police carried an operation on June 5, 2015 around 02:00 hours to stop the illegal Mukula harvest from Katyetye’s chiefdom .
The police explained that Illegal Mukula harvesting and trading is on an increase in Isoka district and later transported to foreign countries such as Tanzania.
They told ZANIS that heavy cutting down of Mukula tree is taking place in chief Katyetye’s area where people use axes and sharp blade machinery to harvest the logs.
Police further revealed that a truck load carrying a foreign number plate T 288 BSJ and trailer number T533 Bsc was abandoned in the bush between Chilanga and Ntipo areas .
And a ZANIS news crew survey carried out in Katyetye chiefdom revealed that about 1000x 2.5 meters of Mukula logs that were packed in various loading bays in the area have gone missing in unclear circumstances.
Mukula tree has become very marketable to reach a status of a Green Gold in Zambia and is harvested from mountainous places. But Why Mukula?
The Mukula tree, whose scientific name is Pterocarpus chrysothrix, is not popular among the common species like the Pine, Neem Tree, Mukwa or Rosewood but it is believed to be most valuable due to the huge properties it has, some which are silent
The leaves are edible, and contain large amounts of vitamin C; they are eaten as a leaf vegetable.Bark extracts are used in herbal medicine to treat skin parasites and fungal infections.The wood is valuable; it is very durable, red at first, becoming purplish-brown on exposure to light, with a density of 0.79 g/cm³.It is resistant to termites. It is valued for making drums in Africa due to its tonal resonance.The wood is also favored for its use in stringed instruments (namely acoustic and electric guitars) for its tonal attributes and durability.Dust from the wood produced during wood processing can cause dermatitis in some people.
Meanwhile, police managed to drive the abandoned Tanzanian truck to Isoka police station