Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining says weak forestry laws in the country are fuelling the charcoal burning business which is threatening forests.
Director of forestry Clement Chilima, speaking during a case review workshop on the harmonisation of the application of the new Wildlife Act and sentencing guidelines in Lilongwe, said people have taken advantage of the weak laws to deplete the forests.
He lamented that even the law enforcers are involved in the malpractice.
Chilima said the major problem leading to degradation of the country’s forests include charcoal burning and illegal cutting down of trees for either domestic or industrial use.
The director has since said the roadblocks set for police to check and arrest those found with illegal charcoal are not helping matters as officers entrusted to curb the problem are in the forefront doing the business.
Said Chilima: “Our roadblocks are useless because that is where corruption takes place. Our officers and the police are in the forefront doing what they were supposed to stop. This is worrisome.”
Malawi Police Service (MPS) Deputy Inspector General (administration) John Nyondo said it is sad that some police officers are involved in the malpractice.
He pledged that MPS will leave no stone unturned to bring to book any officer involved.