High noon for firewood traders

by | Aug 15, 2021 | Crime & Courts | 0 comments


Brian Rungano Temba

The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Environment Management Agency (EMA), Forestry Commission, National Parks of Zimbabwe and Local Authorities have embarked on an operation meant to curb the illegal selling of firewood.

The blitz, which is expected to run across the length and breadth of the country was announced by Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana via Twitter yesterday.

“Harare Metropolitan Province has joined the nationwide blitz against illegal trading of timber and firewood.The picture shows a tanker truck with firewood on top. The driver was arrested and the truck impounded this afternoon at Corner Harare Drive and Solomon Mujuru in Harare,” said Mr Mangwana in one of his tweets.

Truck drivers have been known to carry firewood for resale on their transits, in between journeys.

The wood black market is responsible for the extensive deforestation which has seen the country losing forests at an alarming pace.

“Forestry Commission is on a provincial blitz arresting people found with firewood. They have so far covered six districts; Chegutu, Hurungwe, Makonde, Mhondoro/Ngezi, Sanyati and Zvimba. So far 44 confiscations. The Commission has issued out 10 tickets,” said Permanent Secretary Mangwana.

The program was supported by various stakeholders including EMA, Parks, ZRP, Local Authorities and some members of the media.

“In Gadzema Township, two people selling firewood were arrested.Loads of firewood taken to Forestry Commission Provincial offices will be auctioned later,” added Mr Mangwana.

The country`s environmental future is threatened with each tree that is cut and the operation may be just what Zimbabwe needs to bring back sanity around the management of tree resources.