President Peter Mutharika has blamed the current state of Chikangawa Forest on policies by previous governments but has said his own is working tooth and nail to reforest so that it regains its former glory.
Chikangawa Forest, located in Mzimba District, is home to a 53 500 hectare area once touted as one of Africa’s biggest exotic plantations.
Responding to one of the questions in the Talk to the President programme monitored on state owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) by Nyasa Times Saturday Mutharika described the current situation as very sad.
“I feel bad when I drive to Mzuzu and see the state in which the Chikangawa Forest is in,” said Mutharika.
Mutharika did not mince words to blame the current state on his predecessors for relaxed policies as far as the management of the forest was concerned.
He said his government was on the look to make sure that Chikangawa Forest is reforested.
“We have instituted people to have licenses in order for them to cut trees from the Forest. We’ve the army and the police there to monitor the situation,” said Mutharika.
According to Mutharika, the other policy is that “if you cut one tree you must plant another].
He admitted having knowledge of the encroachment in the Forest, and the scuffles between civilians and the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) soldiers.
The President said “but” all was being done to protect the forest.
Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :