Government has asked politicians who owe it royalties after harvesting timber from Viphya Plantation to pay the money to be used in restoring the now plundered plantation.
A number of politicians and business persons owe government millions of kwacha, but Capital Hill has failed to get the money.
Speaking during a tree-planting exercise in the Viphya Plantation which saw four ministers showing their commitment to restoring Viphya Plantation, Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Mark Botomani said Malawians should be patriotic.
He said politicians and other defaulters that owe government royalties should pay the money.
“Those who owe government should pay. The laws are clear that people have to pay royalties,” said Botomani.
He said the participation of the four ministers and other senior government officials in the planting exercise on Friday was a clear sign that there is political will to restore the forests that have been depleted.
Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Simon Vuwa Kaunda said his ministry benefits a lot from trees.
“My ministry is in full support of the forest restoration. In Malawi, we rely on wood to build so we want more trees to be planted,” he said.
Minister of Health Jappie Mhango said trees are life as they are a source of oxygen and are used in production of medicine.
Paramount Chief Mmbelwa V commended the ministers for taking part in the tree planting exercise, saying political will is key to the restoration of the plantation.
Raiply Malawi chief executive officer Khrishna Das said there is need for Malawians to help in protecting the plantation as it benefits the country in various ways, including employment.