ZAMBIA is losing billions of Kwacha through the illegal export of Mukula and now the Timber Association of Zambia is calling on Government to lift the ban on the export of the rare timber species.
TAZ president, Charles Masange said the moratorium on the export of Mukula was serving no purpose as the rare tree species were still being illegally exported.
Mr Masange said the ban on trade and export of Mukula was a façade because there was rampant export and trade of mukula on the black market.

“Our Kwacha will never be strong if we are not exporting, we can’t make our Kwacha strong by selling at Soweto market. The Kwacha can only be strong if we can export and there is what we call CITES [Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora] regulations, this is an international regulation, which regulates export of natural resources and Mukula is in that category two,” Mr Masange said
He said the country was losing out on revenue due to illegal export of mukula despite Government imposing a ban on exports of the rare tree species.
Mr Masange said the second category of the CITES regulations did not cover exportation of legally harvested Mukula because it provides that trade in the timber should be regulated by local laws of respective countries.
“Same thing, if you look at the ban that is in that CITES, it is not that you have banned the legally harvested Mukula, it is a ban on illegally harvested Mukula. When it is illegally harvested whether it is processed, we are not supposed to export and now it has even gone to other species like Mukwa and Rosewood,” Mr Masange said.
He expressed concern that in the previous regime, about 1,293 containers left the country illegally during the export ban.
Mr Masange added that once the Government lifts the ban, modalities should be put in place to ensure adherence to export regulations by Mukula traders.
He said the country will continue losing out on revenue collection as long as the status quo is maintained.
“I wonder why technocrats fear, they should be explaining to their bosses. The Cabinet in the previous Government was misled because of that CITES Act, it is not the Forest Act, here we follow the Forest Act, the CITES Act is for all countries and it does not say that you should ban Mukula, which is harvested from a Concession,” Mr Masange said.

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *