Zambia’s anti-corruption agency on Wednesday announced that it has intercepted and seized 47 trucks laden with Mukula logs suspected to have been illegally harvested.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said the trucks were en route to two neighboring countries, but their final destinations remain unknown.
The Mukula is a rare, slow-growing timber species endemic to the Miombo Woodlands, a unique ecosystem of scrub and savanna south of the Congo Basin, and is in high demand outside the country, which has fueled illegal trade. Zambia has banned the felling of the endangered timber species and transporting of Mukula logs as part of efforts to curb its rapid loss. Logs from the Mukula tree species cannot be transported, especially through Zambia, without a valid permit.
Queen Chibwe, the agency’s spokesperson, said 24 trucks were intercepted in western Zambia’s Mongu district on Oct. 22, while 23 other trucks were intercepted in the southern district of Chirundu on Oct. 27. She said in a release that the trucks were found to have no required documentation to transport the logs.
“Investigations into the illegal harvesting and transportation of Mukula by some suspected politically exposed persons are still ongoing,” she said. Enditem