Chikwawa — Paramount Chief Lundu of Chikwawa District has fired four of his Group Village Headmen (GVH) for allegedly being in the forefront of cutting down trees.
The revelation was made on Friday by the chief during a tree planting exercise at Sekeni Primary School organized by the Agricultural Trading Company (ATC) Limited - a subsidiary of the Agricultural Holdings Limited (AHL) Group.
Lundu said he fired the four GVH for being in the forefront of cutting down trees and misconduct. The sacked group village heads include; Masache, Tsabeta and Mphampha.
"I will not tolerate any chief found carelessly cutting down trees in my area and if that happens you will be punished. Why should we hide behind such people who are enemies of development? Let me be clear here that I will continue to be tough on any traditional leader found sabotaging government development agenda," said Lundu.
Recently, some chiefs in the district have been accusing Paramount Chief Lundu of excessively using his powers to mistreat various village heads. But Lundu said he wants to maintain discipline.
On their part, new Chikwawa District Commissioner (DC), Fred Movete and Principle Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, Stuart Ligomeka said the issue at hand needs more time to be probed before coming up with a conclusion.
The PS added that the DC is better placed to handle the matter.
On the tree planting exercise, General Manager for the Agricultural Trading Company, Christopher Beya said his company is equally concerned by the depletion of natural resources hence the donation of 4, 000 tree seedlings to be planted around Sekeni Primary School.
Beya assured the community that his company will continue promoting environmental friendly activities so as to motivate farmers conserve the environment.
"We are all aware that the impact of climate change and environmental degradation is being felt throughout the world and Malawi has not been spared. This is evidenced by extreme temperatures, erratic rains and floods which are being experienced every year. It is very important therefore to plant more trees if at all we are going to combat the effects of climate change," he said.
He however called on communities to care for the trees planted as a way of ensuring that they grow well with a higher survival rate.
Agricultural Holdings Limited (AHL) Group introduced the tree planting exercise in 2009 and so far has planted more than 50, 000 trees in various schools and communities across the country and it annually conducts the tree planting exercise through its subsidiaries.