“PF Youths barricade trucks they impounded, refuse to leave until authorities give them answers.”
Patriotic Front Youths that led “ an operation to impound illegal export of Mukula timber” have secured the trucks demanding answers from President Edgar Lungu and other authorities.
The youths have also chased officers with a Toyota Landcruiser from the Zambia National Service (ZNS) that provided armed escort to the controversial contraband.
The youths hold the view that the export is illegal as government effected a ban on the cutting, sawing, sale and export of the valuable timber.
In a video released the youths can be seen at the yard where the impounded trucks are and have vowed not leave until someone gives them answers.
They also state that they have confiscated all documents related to the contraband.
PF Youths are known to take matters and the law in their own hands; in allocation of illegal plots and collection of Market and bus station levies, but this is the first time they have defied both the Police, and the military wing; the Zambia National Service, overpowered them and impounded the trucks.
The transporter of the contraband is said to be State House Special Assistant for Politics, Kaizer Zulu.
On Friday the youths mobilized themselves and intercepted eleven (11)trucks carrying Mukula logs for export.
The youths found at the scene in Chilanga accused State House Special Assistant for Politics, Kaizer Zulu as being behind what they termed “illegal export of Mukula trees.”
The Youths in a convoy of cars mounted their own roadblock at Shimabala toll plaza and confiscated keys for some of the vehicles.
The stand-off continued for hours and one of the escort Driver reported to Chilanga Police that the youths stole from him $22.000.00 for fuel and allowances for drivers and the trucks.
They later forced the trucks to be parked at Chilanga Police Station.
Although the trucks were escorted by officers from Zambia National Service(ZNS) and what was believed to be a State house vehicle, the PF Youths confiscated the keys and threatened to burn the trucks.
The export is allegedly being done under the auspices of ZAFFICO.
Early this year, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Jean Kapata banned the cutting-down and sell off any hardwood in Zambia that included the famous Mukula tree, Zambezi tic, and Rosewood trees.
But she announced that government through the Zambia Forestry and Forest Industries Corporation Limited(ZAFFICO) would auction and sell off seized Mukula.
And ZAMBIA National Association of Sawmillers has expressed concern that the government, through ZAFFICO, is selling Mukula timber at ridiculously low prices and has asked finance minister Felix Mutati to track the money and make the process more transparent.