Theft of timber continues to bleed the industry, with the Zimbabwe Republic Police partnering Allied Timbers in protecting plantations.
The timber industry is one of the strategic sectors of the economy, but theft of the resource has been bleeding the industry for years.
In an interview on the sidelines of a security guards graduation in Vumba, Allied Timbers executive officers said they have roped in law enforcement agents to boost security.
“The theft of timber is a huge challenge facing the corporation. We have challenges at plantations in Nyanga, Mutasa and Chimanimani where people are harvesting trees illegally. Theft affects quantities of trees harvested per year,” said Allied Timbers Operations Manager Kurai Kujinga.
Allied Timbers acting CEO Trymore Chivinge said, “We have trained 34 guards to increase our manpower to safe guard our forests. It’s an annual plan that we wish to carry on. Over the recent years we have heard an increase in the cases of theft of timber. We have devised a capacitation programme through the assistance of police to tighten our internal security systems.”
Zimbabwe Republic Police Provincial Training Officer Superintendent Emmerson Marowa underscored the need for players in the timber industry to work with law enforcement agents to protect the resource.
“The relationship between Allied timbers and ZRP is not new. Training is an important undertaking for an organisation to improve work efficiency. The mandate of ZRP and Allied Timbers feeds into each other as the two organisations seeks to protect the timber industry. Close corporation is vital in reducing timber theft.”
The timber industry is on a revival path following years of wanton destruction and harvesting of trees without replacement, with the current reforestation programmes expected to boost the strategic industry.