By: Selma Taapopi
Namibian police Inspector-General Joseph Shikongo said they discovered illegal timber harvesting in the Zambezi region during a recent operation called Clarion. Unrelated to timber harvesting, Shikongo revealed that police arrested 126 foreign nationals, majority of whom are Zambian, during the police operation.
According to Shikongo, no suspects have been linked to the illegal cutting of timber that was discovered in the Zambezi region. Police could also not provide further details on the number of trees harvested and their financial value before going to air.
However, the Police chief said there are allegations of trucks driving in from neighbouring countries and it is for this reason Shikongo called for the country's borders to be secured. Currently, the harvesting of timber is prohibited in Namibia.
Shikongo said police will work on the matter and prevent culprits from continuing with the illegal activity.
"When we discovered the trees, there was nobody but we saw the trees were freshly cut. People came in, made fire and cut the trees. This has probably been going on for sometime. It has become our hotspot. The regional commander of Zambezi has been directed to ensure a robust deployment including patrol," stated Shikongo.
Shikongo added that in order to secure the country's borders, coordination measures have been made with other countries' security clusters such as immigration, forestry, fisheries and defence.