Thursday, July 25, 2024

Green Economy Minister Mposha vows to end forestry illegalities

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…As he pushes for forestry offences to become non-bailable like stock theft

Minister of Green Economy and Environment Honourable Mike Elton Mposha MP has vowed to end illegalities in the forestry subsector by stiffening laws to make offences non-bailable.

He was speaking during a familiarisation tour of the Forestry Department Headquarters in
Lusaka.Hon. Mposha expressed concern about the high levels of illegalities, whereby even nationals
from neighbouring countries were crossing into Zambia to unlawfully cut tree and produce
charcoal.He said Forestry officers that are involved in illegalities will face dismissal and jail term.
“I want this chaos to end. I want stiffer laws that will even deal with our officers. We give you
the job to protect the forests, but you go out there committing illegalities, you will come and face
the law. We will not just fire you but we will also take you to prison,” Hon. Mposha said.
“When people learn that there is a law that is very punitive, the law itself will deter them from
committing illegalities. We have an example of the law about stock theft.  We introduced the
law, when you’re caught committing the offence of stock theft the offence is not bailable and
prison sentence is extremely punitive. The effect of this is that the cases of stock theft now have
reduced.”

He said simple fines were not deterrent.Hon. Mposha also said vehicles used for transporting illegally harvested timber and charcoal must be forfeited to the State without compromise.The Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Act No.19 of 2023 made stock theft non-bailable, if the person has previously been convicted of the offence of stock theft.

The Minister explained that the ban on Mukula tree will continue.“I know the stakeholders have been requesting that we lift the ban but we will only consider those requests when we have done the thorough check because we need to protect this very rare species of the tree,” the Hon. Minister said.
Hon. Mposha also said the Climate Change Bill will be taken to Cabinet for approval and thereafter submitted to Parliament for enactment this year.

He commended the staff for their continued commitment to duty and contribution to the
country’s development.

12 COMMENTS

  1. It’s about time……. especially in the Charcoal Industry the Sustainable Fuelwood Agency would eliminate corruption in this sector. It would create a modern industry and add revenues, employment, and reforestation. Too bad the Minister at the time never even attended a meeting he called with me to discuss the concept. That was a year ago.

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  2. Please reintroduce the “Forest Rangers” position in your ministry and the problem of abusing our forests plus other natural resources will be greatly reduced

    • It’s your mentality that is rotten. UNIP,MMD, or corrupt pf never thought of preserving our forest, now when UPND comes up with the idea ati people with the sam e mentality.Atase.

  3. Come election time then every Tom, Dick and Harry can go into a forest clear land, burn charcoal and make villages in the name of party cadres and voters

  4. Unless you are going to do the job yourself. Things are different from what it used to be
    I did a bit of charcoal burning as high school pupil. The Kapenda Mabula were on site all the time allocating trees to be cut and labeling those not be cut. Today no one from the forestry offices wants to go in bush without a vehicle…. the old ones used bicycles…. the European forester uses a bicycle. Our educated forest officers love the office and right now I can see some sunbathing. They are in those jobs for lack of alternative.

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  5. With rampant loadshedding and high fuel prices what do you expect people to use. In the 24 plus hour of loadshedding we use charcoal in the homes. Where do you think the charcoal comes from? The law to make stock theft none bailable was made to protect HH’s cows. If you want people to stop charcoal burning, sort out the electricity problem and put in place controls and not threatening surfing people with imprisonment. You are the same silly government that is giving our minerals to foreigners tax free and huge chunks of land. You should have you priorities right.

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    • So to you as long as Kariba dam does not produce water for generating electricity, Zambians have to cut down every tree for charcoal? Such backward mentality is what is making this country go backward

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  6. Impressive leadership and glad to see the call, this is doable to reinforce our fight against load shedding. Afrikaconnector launched the end charcoal to stop deforestation through the promotion of alternative to charcoal solutions

  7. Can someone tell me how much Zambia has contributed to the current climate change. We would be ashamed to not that we have only contributed less than zero or close to Zero% and yet we are busy spending money on things that we have nothing to do with. The so called intelligensia feel that they are doing something. The UPND is the worst Govt, the worst pretenders and the dullest of all the leaders we have ever had. To be honest UPND is the worst vehicle for our national development.

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