Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mines has obtained an injunction restraining Viphya Plantation Timber Millers Cooperatives Union and encroachers from operating in the plantation.
Both the ministry’s spokesperson responsible for Environment and Climate Change Sangwani Phiri and Timber Millers Cooperatives Union chairperson Paul Nthambazale confirmed the development.
Phiri said the injunction would remain in place until discussions with the union, slated for November 23 this year, are heard.
Nthambazale said union members have complied with the court order and have started moving out of the plantation.
In 2013, government signed a 15-year contract agreement with Timber Millers Cooperatives Union to manage 10 000 hectares of the plantation
The contract was to expire in 2028, but in less than two years government asked the cooperatives to stop operating arguing they depleted the forest. n