The Senanga magistrate court has seized timber worth over K60, 000 from a timber processing centre belonging to a local businessman. The timber was seized because the business was allegedly operating without a trading license.
The business, which was established in 1990, has been operating using casual licenses which were suspended in 2016 following some changes in the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.
The casual licenses were replaced with production licenses which cost K7,500 each.
According to the sources, the timber processing centre belonging to Mr. Ivor Lance, acquired a trading license which expired in 2018 and has not been renewed since then.
And a family member of the businessman, Sharmine Lance said the processing centre does not have a production license because it is expensive and the process to acquire it is long.
She said the business is the major income earner for over 200 workers hence seizing the timber has disadvantaged many families.
Meanwhile, another timber dealer Chinyama Kayawe has called on the authorities to allocate more time for the traders to acquire a license.
He said traders should be allowed to trade while making arrangements to obtain a trading license.
And Senanga District Commissioner Vivian Mubukwanu said the district will not allow any illegal timber trader to operate.
Mr. Mubukwanu said all timber dealers are mandated to have a trading license and no one is exempted.
He stated that President Edgar Lungu has directed that natural resources should be secured and only those with trading licenses are allowed to engage in timber business.
He said the processing centre that had its timber seized has been approached several times and advised to get a license but it has not done so.