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Alba Iulia
Sunday, January 29, 2023

Decisions on Forest 27 to be legal and logical – Anthony Bwalya

HeadlinesDecisions on Forest 27 to be legal and logical – Anthony Bwalya

State House says any decision that the government will make concerning the Lusaka Forest number 27 should be logical and must make legal sense.

Speaking when he featured on the Friday edition of Let the People Talk programme this morning, Presidential Spokesperson Anthony Bwalya has indicated that what happened in Forest 27 is a scandal, improper and an injustice to the fight against climate change but it was done using the law because Former President Edgar Lungu de-gazetted the area.

Reacting to concerns by stakeholders over government’s intentions to re-gazette Forest reserve 27 while allowing the existence of structures in the area instead of demolishing them as promised when in opposition, Mr Bwalya says government cannot be going about breaking the law simply because it wants to be seen to be fulfilling a campaign commitment.

Mr Bwalya is however saddened that the previous regime legitimized an illegality by de-gazetting a piece of land which should have been protected for selfish reasons, a situation he says should never have happened and must not be allowed to repeat itself in future.

“What happened in Forest 27 shouldn’t have happened because diabolical circumstances need to be recognized as the portion of the Forest reserve was given out to private individuals,” he said

Mr Bwalya disclosed that what happened in Forest Reserve number 27 was done for the benefit of a small group of individuals and there’s need to understand the challenges that portion of land was de-gazetted under the hand of President Lungu.

“We now have to firm up the protection of those environments such as the Forest reserve number 27 and other Forests, adding that a good example of this protection is the MoU and Forestry Partnerships that has been signed with the European Union, as it is not something that is only beneficial to the environment but it’s also beneficial to lives and livelihoods, as it protects the integrity of the source that gives us food, the source that is supposed to protect us from floods and holds the vegetation,” he said

Meanwhile, Mr Bwalya has assured the nation that the government is making difficult but responsible decisions to ensure sanity is restored in the fuel supply chain by creating new capacities within the economy and solving problems created by the past regime.

“Fuel is not a commodity that we produce in this country hence, the price of fuel is not determined by in this country, it is determined at the international commodities market, previously, our colleagues who were in the Government had a strategy of which they were putting brakes on the price of fuel at the pump through subsidies, of which on a monthly basis they used to borrow up to 67 million Dollars money which they didn’t have to subsidize fuel, multiplying 67 by 12 months will approximately give you an amount equal to Euro Bond money and this is money that was essentially supposed to be paid back by us the citizens,” Mr Bwalya explained

“And in the midst of all that crisis stated above, a scandal was created when, the international oil prices had started surging and rather than taking the money they were collecting at the pump after subsidizing, to pay back the people who were supplying the fuel, the money was instead diverted and used for other purposes, and by August 2021 rather than just ending up with a debt in terms of loan money that was being taken to subsidize fuel which was equal to the size of a Euro Bond, there was also close to half a billion Dollars arrears which had been accumulated because they could not afford to pay international suppliers, this was a scandal that led into problems,” Mr Bwalya added

Mr Bwalya mentioned that the President Hichilema’s New Dawn Administration had to think candidly about this problem, as to whether or not they could afford to borrow 67 million Dollars per month to subsidize fuel, when teachers and nurses needed to be employed, thus the cutting off of fuel subsidies.

14 COMMENTS

  1. You can re-gazette the area that has not been occupied. Then, put in a Statutory Instrument to make the rest of the land that is occupied as a ‘CONSERVATION area.’ This means that no one can cut down any tree without permission from the Forestry department. Any new buildings on plots should not only have planning permission from Housing ministry but also the Forestry department. This would be a LOGICAL and LEGAL compromise. Otherwise, the state must FULLY compensate anyone whom they remove from the land if they are legally there.

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  2. These people are still talking about the cutting up of a city water catchment forest…still dragging your feet on this matter yet the President was in begging the West for the $100billion pledged to Africa to fight climate change but he is shying away from this serious climate matter at home which can be sorted out by just one swipe of his pen.

  3. I thought all new Kasama was part of Forest 27 or it was maybe called Forest 26 whatever. It was also de-gazetted starting by Kaunda and all his political cronies of his time bought land there and then FTJ as well de-gazetted another part and people like HH and others got plots and built estates like the Community house they call it then Lungu as well de-gazetted another potion Forest 27 and all his cadres and cronies got plots.
    So to repair the damage start from Kaunda time to date and deal with all who have plots there or just move on and de-gazette another portion and call it Forest 28. kikikiki

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  4. Fuel is not a commodity that is produced in Zambia so says Anthony Bwalya… really. Always reflect on the past before you say anything. So many times the GLOBAL EFFECTS ON OUR FUEL PRICE were brushed aside and only to acknowledge the fact after duping the nation.

  5. People who have lived in Lusaka since the 1960s know that the areas south of Chilenje and Leopards Hill road, (now residential areas of New Kasama & Chanyanya) was part of Lusaka South Forest Reserve – with same status as the Forest 27. Besides, Chongwe River originates in Ngwerere area. The confluence of Chongwe R. and Chalimbana R is located further south of Chongwe Town where the Chongwe R flows through hills to link up with Zambezi. Apparently a decision to re-gazette Forest 27 is targeted at punishing Mama Inonge Wina who has a house in this area. THIS IS A WAKE-UP CALL FOR THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN PROV.

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  6. And why is mentioning Lungu in this story. We have had 6 presidents and I am each president had allowed construction or mining(like we are seeing with Lower Zambezi) in a hither to reserved area. Or are they still looking for something to pin on him?

  7. What was supposed to be “Let the people talk” program on Radio Phoenix ended up being let Anthony Bwalya speak. Only 4 people called as the rest of us failed to get through. But Professor Ngwale, who’s been a supporter of UPND since he was honoured correctly observed that it seems only one person makes all decisions in the UPND and that’s the Great Leader. Everything that happens in UPND and GRZ is attributed to the President. It’s embarrassing, what then are others doing? And everything that’s done is meant to correct PF wrongs. How possible is that?

  8. kkkkk IF you new that fuel is controlled by external forces why were you telling people that fuel in zambia will come down to k4 when in power? DOES it mean you were not aware that we doesn’t produce fuel? A you not a ZANBIAN not to know.Bwana just do what you promised people and stop lying.The problem ba Bwalya belive your selves that you are ruling now,you are not in oppostion.Stop all the lies and just deliver according to the promise.You were waiting for your budget,how many budgets have you so far presented in parliament and how many are you remaing with.

  9. kkkkk IF you new that fuel is controlled by external forces why were you telling people that fuel in zambia will come down to k4 when in power? DOES it mean you were not aware that we doesn’t produce fuel? A you not a ZANBIAN not to know.Bwana just do what you promised people and stop lying.The problem ba Bwalya belive your selves that you are ruling now,you are not in oppostion.Stop all the lies and just deliver according to the promise.You were waiting for your budget,how many budgets have you so far presented in parliament and how many are you remaning with.

  10. The consequences of having a bad leader like Edgar Lungu, the end results are bad decisions that affect humanity for a life time

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