Business Forum Raises Red Flag on Alleged Corrupt Practices

The Phalombe Business Forum has raised a red-flag on corrupt practices in Michesi and Mulanje Forest Reserves where forest guards are allegedly receiving kick-backs from illegal charcoal producers to produce charcoal.

The forum’s secretary, Henry Naparari, told Zodiak Online today that most of the guards allow illegal charcoal producers through the forest entry points and the main gate after pocketing an advantage.

Naparari said the continued depletion of trees in the two reserves will worsen flooding in district if left unchecked.

"We got a fair share of Tropical Cyclone Freddy induced floods at the Boma. Should wanton cutting down of trees in the two forests reserves continue, we will likely to pay a heavy price," said Naparari.

He said forest patrols are meant to prevent people from felling trees not encourage it.

Naparari has since called on authorities to swiftly intervene on the matter through investigating those behind the vice and enhance patrols in the reserves

Meanwhile, Phalombe district assistant forestry officer, Yasin Mtesha Mbewe, has advised people to report the vice to relevant authorities, adding that his office will investigate the same.

The appeal comes barely a week after Group Village Head Khamula of Mpata area faulted the guards on the same.

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