Power and Politics

PEP leader, Tembo, faults arrest of Chief Chikwa of Chama District, wants charges dropped


Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader, Sean Tembo, has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the charges leveled against Chief Chikwa of Chama District.

Tembo said the action by government to arrest the traditional leader was draconian and an abuse of his basic human rights and his subjects.

In a statement issued in Lusaka on Monday, Tembo noted that the chiefdom was located almost entirely in the Chikwa Game Management Area (GMA) in Chama District of Eastern Province.

The PeP leader stated that if government does not want a single tree to be cut in the GMA, it should not allow people to live in the area across the country.

“It is unreasonable for government to arrest Chief Chikwa for allegedly cutting down trees in the GMA because the chiefdom is entirely in a GMA, meaning that whenever they need logs for constructing a new house, they have to cut within the GMA,” he said.

Tembo noted that for as long as people were living in the GMA, they need to cut trees for various domestic purposes including clearing land for cultivation.

Read More: Traditional leader loses timber concession licence for engaging foreign nationals

Zambia Monitor reported on Sunday that the government had cancelled a timber concession licence given to Chief Chikwa of the Senga people of Chama District in Eastern Province for violating licence conditions.

Green Economy and Environment Minister, Collins Nzovu, said the concession licence was given to the traditional leader through his company called Zizye.

“The Department of Forest as well as security agencies unearthed overwhelming evidence that Chief Chikwa, against warning messages, had been engaging foriegn nationals to harvest timber,” Nzovu said.

The Minister later announced the arrest of the Chief for violating his licence conditions on Sunday through the Joint Operations Team led by the Department of Forest.

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