• Government should only open one window for export through the auction floor.
• When the exports open, government should not give every Jim and Jack timber export permits.
• Government wants to conduct a thorough assessment of Mukula stocks in the country.
Timber Producers Association of Zambia (TPAZ) has reaffirmed calls for government to speed establishment of a timber auction floor.
Speaking in an interview with Money FM News, Association President Charles Masange said now that government has suspended the harvesting and export of Mukula logs, export permits should not be given to people with unclear motives once the export market is opened.
Mr. Masange stated that government must only give one export permit per Zambian entity so that those intending to export should do so through the auction floor.
“If its Mukula we say Mukula at the international market at the point of exist from Zambia should cost not less than USD50, 000 minimum price per container so that whoever will afford to pay for that or more, that is the one who will be able to export Mukula from Zambia,” Mr. Masange said.
He further appealed to government to only open one window for export through the auction floor so that even a timber trader from the village can be able to sale a container at 50, 000 dollars, and earn the country the much needed foreign exchanges.
“If you have a container of Mukula, you simply go to the auction floor, you surrender your container, they register it and put it on the auction on world market. If it is bought, you are given the USD50, 000 maybe only 10 percent for facilitation of your documentation and other things by the floor and that way, the country will have capital foreign exchange,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu says the indefinite ban in the harvest and export of Mukula logs is still in effect.
Mr. Nzovu disclosed at a media briefing that while the ban is still in effect, the new regime will ensure that trade in Mukula and all other timber trading activities are done in a sustainable manner.
“Government wants to conduct a thorough assessment of Mukula stocks in the country to ascertain the quantities, establish full value and also determine the potential of a thriving timber industry.”
“Government will develop and put in place mechanisms that will be fair, inclusive and equitable to all Zambians so as to economically empower citizens especially the youth and women,” he said.
On 13th June 2017, the Patriotic Front government banned the harvest and trade in Mukula species and designated Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation (ZAFFICO) as the only institution to purchase and export legally harvested timber in an effort to curb illegal timber trade.
And on 25th September 2021, the UPND administration suspended the harvest and export of Mukula species to verify the documentation of traders exempted from the initial ban done in 201.