The High Court in Mzuzu has stopped Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining from evicting timber cooperatives in Viphya Plantation until a further order of the court.
The ministry gave Timber Millers Cooperatives Union a September 8 2015 ultimatum to leave the plantation, popularly known as Chikangawa Forest in Mzimba.
Government said it was evicting the timber traders because they allegedly mismanaged 10 000 hectares allocated to them.
High Court judge Dingiswayo Madise granted the injunction on Wednesday.
This was the second injunction after the first one, issued on Tuesday, was cancelled because it did not incorporate other items.
The judge also extended from 14 days to 21 days the period for the two parties to discuss the issue.
Speaking in an interview yesterday, the union’s chairperson Paul Nthambazale said government should have given dialogue a chance before terminating the contract as arbitration is part of the provisions in the agreement.
Sangwani Phiri, Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines spokesperson (environment and climate change), said government was yet to be served with the injunction.