Police in Lusaka are washing their hands and failing to disclose the finding of the investigations over the ownership of the Mukula logs which are in a container at Garden Police Post.
Police spokesperson Esther Mwaata Katongo has been dodging questions from journalists who have been demanding to know the owners of the illegally cultivated Mukula logs which were intercepted a month ago.
When asked who was behind the smuggling of the impounded logs, Katongo referred questions to Lusaka Province police commissioner Nelson Phiri, saying she knew nothing about it.
“I have been receiving so many queries on that same Mukula but i don’t have any information myself. call Mr Phiri,” said Katongo.
Phiri also said he had no information on the matter, but said if the container was still at the police station, it meant that investigations were ongoing without his knowledge.
“If it (the container) is at the police station, it means it is a case that the police is investigating. I don’t know [how far the investigations have gone. Its not each and every little thing that comes here. Sometimes it reaches…they finish…they go to court minus coming to my office,” said Phiri.
But a police sources close to the investigation told News Diggers that the Commissioner was aware of the findings but could not give details because “some senior government officials were involved”.
“The Commissioner cannot say he doesn’t know about this investigation because it’s not a small issue. It’s just that he cannot give details without naming the actual senior government officials who are involved. If he has to give details without naming the officials, then he would be lying. That’s why he can’t talk,” the officer said.
The source said the Mukula logs at Garden Police post were too hot for the police to handle.
“The truth is that this case is being investigated under the [Provincial] Commander’s instructions. It’s being handled by Chief Inspector Muyunda from Scorpion unit at Central Police. That’s the officer investigating this matter and the findings so far indicate that some police officers were involved in that transaction. It goes all the way up. It’s a hot issue, that’s why it was never announced in the first place, but all the other seizures of Mukula are announced, including the recent one in North Western Province involving a chief,” said the officer.
“You should ask questions as journalists why these logs were intercepted in the Industrial area. But all the police stations in that area were bypassed, including Emmasdale which is a supervising police station. It was brought to Garden Police Post, why? They had to go and pick police officers from Garden to handle this issue.”