Arrest timber looters - Ndeitunga

09 May 2019 | Environment

Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga has instructed his regional officers to arrest those who continue to engage in unlawful logging.

This follows a letter from environment ministry executive director Teofilus Nghitila - dated 7 May - in which he demanded that Ndeitunga instruct police officers to arrest those who continued with illegal logging and transportation of timber.

“I have received the letter and I have circulated it to all the regions to enforce it,” Ndeitunga said yesterday. According to Nghitila's letter the ministry has received reports of timber harvesting and transport taking place in the northeastern regions despite a moratorium on all such activities.

Towards the end of November last year both the environment ministry and the forestry directorate ordered an immediate halt to the harvesting and trading of Namibia's timber.

“The ministry of environment and tourism has learnt with grave concern that the harvesting and transporting of timber from the Kavango East, Kavango West and Zambezi regions is continuing,” Nghitila said.

“This is in spite of the suspension that was put on the issuance of permits for the harvesting, transporting, marketing and export of Namibian timber, as per the attached letter dated 26 November 2019.”

Nghitila said it was on this basis that the ministry wanted the police to immediately intervene and arrest the culprits and confiscate the timber.

“The immediate intervention of the Namibian police is herewith requested to arrest any culprits that are still engaged in the harvesting, transport, marketing and export of Namibian timber. Any Namibian timber being harvested and transported should be confiscated,” Nghitila said.

He also requested the police to ensure that any timber transported from neighbouring countries is accompanied by the relevant weighbridge certificates.