The Anti-corruption Commission( ACC) has intercepted and seized 47 trucks loaded with Mukula tree logs enroute to neighboring Namibia and Zimbabwe, with unknown final destinations.
According to a statement released to the media by the Commission Spokesperson Queen Chibwe, 24 Trucks were intercepted in Mongu on 22nd October, enroute to Walvis bay, Namibia, while 23 Trucks were intercepted in Chirundu on 27th October enroute to Zimbabwe through Chirundu Border. The 47 trucks were found to have no required documentation to transport the Mukula logs.
The Mukula, which was being ferried by Trucks belonging to ACK General Suppliers was seized by the Commission, together with the Trucks, in accordance with Section 58 of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012.
“Investigations into the illegal harvesting and transportation of Mukula by some suspected politically exposed persons are still ongoing, ” concluded the statement.
In September, Minister of Community Development Doreen Mwamba unearthed a scam where a cartel at the Ministry working with some PF officials regime had continued to harvest and export Mukula trees belonging to ZAPID farms.
ZAPID Farms is owned by the Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities, a department under the Ministry of Community Development charged with the responsibility to manage Mukula farms in Chipili district in Luapula Province.
During a fact-finding mission conducted by the Mrs. Mwamba, 10 trucks laden with Mukula were discovered at ZAPID Farms while seven other trucks were found packed along the road near the farm.
This was pending forged documentation for Mukula logs to be transported under the pretext they are from Congo.
And the drivers found at the scene explained that they have been waiting for documentation from Congo packed along the road in the bush while the trucks at the ZAPID Farms waited for clearance from the Ministry of Lands.
“For the past two months, the drivers have been waiting for a go-ahead from owners of Mukula trees who are connected to the system,” they revealed.
And Mrs. Mwamba expressed sadness over the indiscriminate cutting down of Mukula trees at the farm.
“This is sad that only a few people from the PF Mukula cartel benefit while the farm remains undeveloped at the expense of the underprivileged. We were getting reports that they are illegal activities at the farm, so we came for a fact-finding mission but what we have found here has shocked us, over 200 truckloads of Mukula have been taken from the farm by the past regime without any written approval from the cabinet,” explained Mrs. Mwamba with shock.
The Minister instructed truck drivers both at the site and on the roadside in Chipili District not to make any movements until investigations from the relevant authorities are concluded.