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Govt rakes US$4.3m from Mukula sales

Government raised a total of four point three million US dollars through the sale of Mukula Tree by ZAFFICO since August 2017 when government imposed a ban on harvesting and trade of trees.
Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata says the Mukula species has the potential to contribute to poverty reduction, job and wealth creation for the country hence the need to manage this forest resource in a sustainable manner.
Speaking in parliament during a ministerial statement, Ms Kapata says it is against this background, that the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources issued Statutory Instrument Number 31 of 2017, which restricted the exportation and transiting of selected timber species.
“Mr. Speaker, in order to avoid loss of revenue, instructions were issued to the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) to export all the illegal Mukula logs on behalf of the government. ZAFFICO was commissioned to export the Mukula on behalf of government on 1st June 2017. In 2018 alone, ZAFFICO has been issued with 9 export permits,” she told parliament.
She explains that all the illegally harvested Mukula logs is seized under Section 82 of the Forest Act Number 4 of 2015 and that once the logs have been seized they are forfeited to the state through the courts of law.
“Sir, I wish to inform this August House that since August 2017 when government imposed a ban on the harvesting and trade of Mukula trees and subsequently appointed ZAFFICO to sale all the illegally harvested and confiscated Mukula logs on behalf of government, a total of US$4.3million has been raised,” she said.
Ms Kapata says all the proceeds are being invested towards the resuscitation of the Kawambwa Tea Company which government handed over to ZAFFICO to manage.
She adds that it is important to note that all procedures pertaining to the utilisation of the proceeds raised from the sale of Mukula have been adhered to.

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