Zambia: Mukula trade suspension welcome move, further audit needed for corruption allegations
Following an investigation by the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) into the illicit trade of mukula wood, we are pleased to hear that the Zambian Minister of Land and Natural Resources has suspended the harvesting and export of the endangered mukula trees.
While Transparency International welcomes the decision, it is critical that President Hakainde Hichilema enforces an immediate suspension of the international trade in mukula through establishing a zero-export quota for Zambia under the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This will allow Zambia to take stock of its forestry endowment before initiating a transparent trade that will benefit all of Zambia’s people.
Any local action to suspend Mukula trade, without imposing an international ban on exports from Zambia, is likely to be cosmetic, said Transparency International Zambia today.
An audit also must be carried out to assess the role that different parties and individuals have played in the illegal trade of this endangered resource. Law enforcement agencies must thoroughly consider the findings of EIA’s investigation, so that all entities involved are held accountable.
A week before the suspension, Transparency International issued a statement in response to the release of the recent EIA findings which showed that over 10,000 trees had been plundered through an illegal cartel during the period 2017 to June 2021.
For any press enquiries, please contact
Bright Chizonde, Transparency International Zambia
T: +260 976 747 893