Mukula passage blocked

MINISTER of Lands Jean Kapata and Commissioner of Lands Wilfred Muma leave State House after presenting their quarterly report to President Lungu yesterday. PICTURE: MACKSON WASAMUNU

PRESIDENT Lungu has signed a Statutory Instrument (SI) to bar transiting of the mukula logs in Zambia from neighbouring countries.
Minister of Lands Jean Kapata, who announced the development at State House yesterday, said the SI was released in the government gazette notice on Friday.
Ms Kapata said she will sign her SI today and it will be published in the government gazette this Friday, thereby completely making it illegal to use the Zambian soil to transit the endangered tree species.
She was briefing journalists shortly after presenting her ministry’s quarterly report to President Lungu.
“Once the SI is signed, it will mean that Zambia is not going to allow any transit of the mukula logs on its soil. We will have sealed where the mukula is coming from, especially from the Congo DR,” she said.
And Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare Emerine Kabanshi has said President Lungu has directed her ministry to revamp its two farms, Mukabi and Luminu, in Luapula Province to raise revenue to support the disabled and vulnerable.
Ms Kabanshi also presented her ministry’s quarterly report.
“The President has directed us to engage the ministries of Agriculture and Livestock and Fisheries so that we can stock some animals and raise revenue to fend for the vulnerable,” she said.
Ms Kabanshi said President Lungu also wants her ministry to take the lead in breaking generational poverty by ensuring that there is an increase in the number of households on the social cash transfer scheme.
“The head of State wants us to ensure that girls get an education so that they acquire skills and break poverty in their families,” she said.
Minister of Tourism and Arts Charles Banda also presented his ministry’s report with the head of State urging him to urgently put in place stringent measures to protect Zambia’s wildlife.
Mr Banda said the President wants the Ministry of Tourism and Arts to consider recruiting more officers in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife to curb the high poaching levels in national parks across the country.
“The President wants us to prioritise wildlife conservation because wildlife is the major component that has contributed to the growth of Zambia’s tourism sector,” he said.
The minister said the Department of National Parks and Wildlife currently has 1,800 officers instead of the required 4,000.

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