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STATE TO INSTITUTE INQUIRY ON FOREST 27

By AARON CHIYANZO and GIDEON NYENDWA
GOVERNMENT will launch an inquiry into the Forest 27 controversy and allow the due process of the law to take its course if any illegality is unearthed, new Lands and Natural Resources minister, Elijah Muchima has said.


The de-gazetting of the Forest 27 during the previous regime, was received with mixed feelings as most stakeholders felt public officials wanted to benefit.
Several senior government officials were accused of having acquired big pieces of land in the de-gazetted forest.
There was also concern that Forest 27 was de-gazetted despite being the only forest remaining in Lusaka and a recharge area for the Chalimbana and Chongwe rivers.
Mr Muchima however said the new government would study the matter and ascertain whether there was any illegality in the processes.
He said individuals who would be found wanting would face the law.
Mr Muchima said the due process of the law would be allowed to take its course if any illegality was unearthed in the controversy surrounding Forest 27.
“We will study the issue surrounding Forest 27 and if any illegality is found, people will have to answer to the law,” he said.
Mr Muchima said the new administration was a government of laws and would not shield any illegality.

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