Dodoma — THE government has no plans to pay Kamwene Woodworks a total of 556,510,000/- as compensation for lumber confiscated by the Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) in 1979 in Mikumi National Park, Morogoro Region.
Responding to a question from Ms Joyce Mukya (Special Seats - Chadema), the deputy Minister in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Lazaro Nyalandu warned that according to the 2002 Forest Law, it is prohibited to cut trees in all the national reserved areas, including water catchment sources.
"The country is slowly turning into desert because people cut down trees even in areas that are protected and then rush to the government for compensation when caught. This will not be tolerated, those arrested will be arraigned," he warned.
Mr Nyalandu explained that the Kamwene Woodworks issue had been settled by the ministry in 2000, after the company was paid
The deputy minister noted that advise given by the office of Attorney General for the government to pay the company 'simple interest' and compensation for 65 lumbers and 4,100 pieces of wood was issued without the ministry recommendation into the matter.
"The ministry had, however, issued its stand that the claims by Kamwene Woodworks have no basis and should not be paid anything more than what they have already been paid, because the case was filed outside the legal alloted time frame," he explained.
Mr Nyalandu noted it is clear that Kamwene Woodworks was satisfied with compensation paid earlier by the government, hence, the delays in filing for the claims within the legal allocated time from.
Ms Mukya (Special Seats - Chadema) wanted to know when would the government compensate Kamwene Woodworks for the lumber confiscated by TANAPA in 1979.