A Chipata Magistrate has heard how the truck laden with Mukula logs disappeared at the residence of Patriotic Front-PF cadre Makabaniso Chiwele Maimisa. Three witnesses from the Forestry department and Police testified that Maimisa admitted that he was the owner of the truck registration number ALM 4686 and owner of the logs but the following day, the truck disappeared. Peter Sinkamba,35, a Police officer told the court that after Maimisa showed reluctance to release the keys for the truck, Police decided to take him to the Police where he was charged.
But defense lawyer Ferdinand Jere told the witness that it was negligence on the part of the Police and Forest officers to leave the house unmanned.
See Muvi TV report here The matter has since been adjourned to the 25th of September 2014 for commencement of trial.
The endangered Mukula tree ((blood-wood) is on high demand on the International Market especially in China where it is used in the production of gunstocks and other artefacts.
The Mukula tree is said to have three layers of useful properties. The heart wood or inner brown part is used for making gun buts; the second one is used in the timber industry for furniture and the like, while the outer part is the one used for medicinal purposes. Traditionally, the Mukula tree is used in several Zambian communities for menstrual rites; in rites of purification for homicides, propitiation of ancestral spirits, rites for pubescent girls etc…