Western PS disappointed with Illegal cutting of trees and selling them to Chinese nationals

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Impounded trucks loaded with Mukula logs
Impounded trucks loaded with Mukula logs

Western Province Permanent Secretary (PS) Sibanze Simuchoba says he is disappointed with the current illegal harvesting and trading of timber that has rocked the province.

Mr. Simuchoba who is new in Western Province taking over from Mr. Mwangala Liomba said government and the local communities in the province have continued losing out on income and revenue that could be realised from proper harvesting and trading of timber.

Addressing civil servants in Sioma district who brought the issue of illegal timber exploitation in the area to his attention, the PS assured them that the matter will not rest until a lasting solution is found.

Meanwhile, the PS also implored the Sioma administrators and community members to also find a way of combating the vice that has hit the newly created district.

Mr. Simuchoba said it is redundant for civil servants and council authorities to be in the forefront complaining to government because they themselves are also government and should be the ones to formulate a plan to curb the vice.

Speaking earlier at the gathering, Sioma District Council Chairperson Sililo Mumbula lamented to the Permanent Secretary over what he termed as unscrupulous timber traders who are cutting down trees anyhow and allegedly selling to some Chinese nationals.

“Permanent secretary sir, in a few years’ time probably 10 years from now, you will find that Sioma will definitely become a desert. Why? Because of these unscrupulous timber dealers who are cutting even very premature trees.

They have taken advantage of our friends the Chinese who have come. And I don’t know whether these Chinese are investors or what, I don’t know, but as far as I am concerned here in Sioma these are not investors.” Lamented Mr. Mumbula.

And Sioma District Commissioner, Maurice Litula said the district forestry authorities have been trying to put an end to the illegal timber activities but are incapacitated by challenges such as lack of transport.

Mr. Litula however, acknowledged that government is losing out a lot of money as a result of illegalities surrounding the timber industry in the district.

And during an onsite check at one of the timber processing centres owned by a Chinese national, the PS found timber logs being loaded on a Namibian Registered Truck.

When he inquired from the director of the processing centre over why a foreign truck was being loaded with Timber despite an export ban being in effect, the
director said the truck was not destined for Namibia but was simply ferrying the logs to Livingstone.

But Mr. Simuchoba expressed surprise that in all the years he has been in Livingstone he has never seen any trucks deliver timber for further processing in the town especially the ones with Namibian registration plates.

Western Province is endowed with vast timber reserves and among them is the Zambezi Teak that was gravely exploited decades ago in Mulobezi district leaving the area vulnerable to environmental degradation and largely underdeveloped.

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29 COMMENTS

  1. Corruption , cholera epidemic and deforestation under Lungu have kicked into high gear and all three threaten the very survival of Zambia.

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    • Long before even PF came to power, westeners have been harvesting this wood. Namibians are probably the biggest beneficiaries of this wood. At Sesheke/Katima, both nationals criss cross this border and Namibian trucks ferry this wood into Namibia. Not everything is Lungu, Lungu no!! ZAFFICO just needs to expand operations in western province, they need to train westerners on saw milling, map out replanting programmes, then ministry needs to build a trading floor where foreigners can buy the processed teak legally thus empowering the locals.

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    • Imagine and that lazy fooool is talking about creating an enabling environment …really laughable….I can see this PS being bribed to shut up or being reshuffled by thieves in State House.

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    • Why are Zambians acting all surprised?
      Surely its common knowledge that State House vehicles are the “official clandestine escort” for the illegal Mukula consignments smuggled out of the Nation, fully sanctioned by that corrupt excuse for a President, so why are you perplexed?
      As long as The corrupt drunk resides in Plot #1, this will be the norm, & not the exception.
      TWAFWA PA ZAMBIA, WASTED YEARS.

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  2. Hunger is rampant under Lungu, his lack of economic policies is plunging the country into more economic woes. The Chinese are now exploiting the poor citizens who need just a few bucks to feed their families. This is not going to stop until our economy gets better. The worst thing is that these guys in power never take advice, this is like Jay puts it wasted years.

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    • If your relatives are hungry it’s because they are lazy bums who depend on your
      measly dollar handouts and prefer not to work!! There’s no wasted years in Zambia except you diasporans who are wasted human beings who prefer to be second class citizens in foreign lands!!!!

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    • @Zambian Citizen
      I wonder if you have ever been to Sioma and further west from there. There is absolutely no economic activity of any sort. The land is just bare sand. The only thing that grows in that sand is a few hard wood trees. The locals just found them in their possession, they must use them to survive. Now, you and I know that this is not sustainable. This is where government must come in. Instead of just distributing free maize during campaigns, a serious government would have assisted the people by setting up a sustainable economic activity like setting up a forestry management facility, training of locals in wood processing and assist in setting up wood processing plants. The Chinese found this yawning gap and filled it up. Government must provide solutions to its poor…

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    • ….and what have the area mps been doing all this time??? Why haven’t the local leaders been highlighing these matters to the authorities??? Like I have said @1.1, the local mps should be engaging the ministry, ZAFFICO etc not showboating in the media.

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    • @ Zambian Citizen…you’re really an ignoramus. Do you know how much Zambians in diaspora add to Zambia’s GDP through remittances? Wow. You’re making funny of Zambians in diaspora , and yet you forget that there are foreign (Chinese) nationals in your country illegally taking advantage of your resources, and most likely sending their earnings back to their home country–right under your ineffective government’s nose. Zambians in diaspora are not your enemies, but partners in national development. The only problem is that your president doesn’t know how to tap into their expertise and financial resources. African politicians are constantly scared of citizens in diaspora, thinking they’ll come back and take over their jobs. What a shame.

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    • LIE – DETECTOR – Please dont waste time responding to such people they have no ideal they think we live hand to mouth and dont invest…best you ignore him!!

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    • @Lie detector-I admire Indian and Lebanese nationals who have set up industries and factories. They pay huge amounts to ZRA, they employ a lot of Zambians, they pay huge ZESCO bills which in turn enables these utilities to employ more Zambians. That is significant and direct contribution to GDP. These nationals are better to have than begging for your expertise. Remittances??? Who do they benefit??? Local businessmen are getting funds from banks nowadays, who depends on remittances???

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    • @Jay: It’s more like you live a.r.s.e to mouth after cleaning those behinds…kwekwekwekwekwe…..

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  3. Koswe is the one involved in mukula 20 trucks passed through the boarder last week.dont blame people,blame Lungu , he is involved.

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  4. How come Chinese are buying illegal trees in the country? How can a foreigner do that? I think the problem is not Chinese but the government.

    And you Mr Fake PS what steps have u taken to stop that instead of crying like a stupid baby? U not capable of being PS. U are failed by me.

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    • What steps can a mere PS take when his bosses are the ones stealing and selling to foreigners…not even selling but co-partnering with Chines!!

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  5. ” ….They have taken advantage of our friends the Chinese who have come….”

    what is wrong with you people, always looking up to lightskin people as superiors…it is the Chinese who are taking advantage of our peoples poverty and ignorance…they should be punished….in other countries the handlers of stolen goods are also punished as they are encouraging the vice… but because they are bribing PF you don’t touch the Chinese……look he even found illegal logs being loaded onto a Namibian truck and did nothing…he was probably bribed…..

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  6. @6 nkope shinyenga we know your true names , phone number and residence tiku gwila uzakambila kusogolo about what u know more on the sensitive matter you mentioned. UZALILA NAKUNYA CHOLERA

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  7. The reason Chinese are buying those logs of trees is because they don’t have them in their own country. Soon Zambia will have none too.

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  8. Let forest department plan a countrywide tree planting program before all our forests sift to China.Firstly, protect the ones we already have then plant some more.

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  9. That’s why some people are proposing stoning the Chinese because it appears nobody will stop them until suffering masses and those concerned to end the problems take law into their hands! Can’t soldiers be engaged to end this Mukula nonsense the way they did to Cholera?!

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  10. What do you expect when you have Jean Kapapa the criminal. Same thing when she was tourism minister. They ifi-sushi cannot run sectors and use them as their personal business. She is actively selling our trees to the Chinese. No amano and cutting down our forests that create homes, shelter and food for wildlife. Soon there will be no shade for our animals and birds who build nests in trees. This will also add to climate change. When Lungu hires his very own uneducated fellow friends to kill every existing sector into the ground. Everything the outsource to a foreign owned corporation due to incompetent ministers hired in these roles. Yet tax payers money is paying salaries for these useless ministers. Lungu afwile awa manje manje! In Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is gone!

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