Friday 19th January 2018

ZAFFICO Offers Explanation For Illegally Exported Mukula Logs

The Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited (ZAFFICO) has said that China was identified as the market to export Mukula logs as there is currently no known market where Mukula logs are processed other than China.

In a statement released to the media, offering a detailed explanation of the Mukula episode, ZAFFICO Board Chairperson Prof. Jacob Mwitwa said that the local auction system was abused as the people/companies who bought the logs through auction. The companies would illegally harvest Mukula logs, but use the auction documents and claim that the Mukula logs were bought through auction.

Prof Mwitwa said that in order to prevent the confiscated Mukula logs from going to waste, Government decided to appoint ZAFFICO to export logs on its behalf so that some economic value could be realized from the sale of the logs.

ZAMBIA FORESTRY AND FOREST INDUSTRIES CORPORATION LIMITED (ZAFFICO)

Press Release

Ndola, Monday 1st January 2018

THE ROLE OF ZAFFICO IN THE EXPORT OF ILLEGALLY HARVESTED AND CONFISCATED MUKULA LOGS
Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited (ZAFFICO) wishes to inform the public on its role pertaining to the export of illegally harvested and confiscated Mukula Logs on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Zambia.

From the outset, it is important to note that ZAFFICO is a State Owned Enterprise (SOE) incorporated under the Companies Act CAP 388 of the Laws of Zambia. The mandate of ZAFFICO is to establish and manage forest plantations in the country as well as deal in any forest-related activities. The Corporation manages 50,000 hectares of exotic forest plantations and employs over 5,000 people both on a Permanent and Non-Permanent basis.

As the public may be aware, following the unsustainable harvesting of Mukula trees, the Government of the Republic of Zambia decided to ban the harvesting and trading of Mukula logs. Consequently, the Government through the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources introduced measures to curb the illegal harvesting, transporting and trading of Mukula logs in accordance with the Forests Act No. 4 of 2015 of the Laws of Zambia. As a result, all Mukula logs that were illegally harvested across the country were confiscated by Government. Subsequently, the Government decided to auction the confiscated Mukula logs locally. However, the local auction system was abused as the people/companies who bought the logs through auction would illegally harvest Mukula logs but using the auction documents and claim that the Mukula logs were bought through auction.

In order to prevent the confiscated Mukula logs from going to waste, Government decided to appoint ZAFFICO to export logs on its behalf so that some economic value could be realized from the sale of the logs. It should be observed that ZAFFICO identified China as the market to export Mukula logs as there is currently no known market where Mukula logs are processed other than China. ZAFFICO wishes to state further that the revenue being generated from the export of Mukula logs will be utilized within the provisions of the Public Finance Act (Act No. 15 of 2004).

It is important to note that ZAFFICO is not involved in the harvesting of Mukula trees but only exports Mukula logs that have been confiscated by the Security wings and cleared for export by all the relevant Government institutions such as Zambia Army, Zambia National Service, Zambia Police Service, Forestry Department and Zambia Revenue Authority which institutions are all part of the Central Joint Operations Committee (CJOC) which Government established to address the illegal harvesting and trading in Mukula logs.

ZAFFICO is not aware of any Senior Government Officials or Civil Servants who are involved in the export of Mukula logs in their individual capacity as the mandate to export illegally harvested and confiscated Mukula logs has been given to ZAFFICO.

In view of the above, there is nothing sinister about the 21 trucks that were illegally intercepted in Kafue area as was explained by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence during the Press Briefing held on Saturday 30th December 2017.

For any further clarification with regard to the role of ZAFFICO in the export of illegally harvested and confiscated Mukula logs, the Public is free to contact ZAFFICO.

Issued by

Prof. Jacob Mwitwa
Board Chairperson
ZAMBIA FORESTRY AND FOREST INDUSTRIES
CORPORATION LIMITED (ZAFFICO)

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