Katima Mulilo-Ronald Shangoya of Devils Claw Investment whose 21 trucks were seized by Zambian authorities at Wenela border post for transporting mukula timber sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) says he has incurred losses of N$12. 6 million.
Shayonga’s trucks form part of a total of about 200 trucks impounded in Zambia in February this year and has thus far cost the local transport sector an estimated N$100 million.
The trucks were impounded because Zambian laws prohibit the harvesting of mukula timber.
The truck drivers were transporting the goods from the DRC onwards to clients in China.
Shangoya says if he was going to sell all the timber in his 21 trucks he was going to generate about N$12.6 million. This however looks to be money he may never see, as his fleet of trucks remain impounded in Zambia.
“It feels very bad, I am in a tough position right now because I am not generating any money, but drivers want to be paid. The bank where we took the loan for us to purchase our goods they are on top of us, and we don’t know how to pay them back, so it is really a situation one cannot handle,” Shangoya lamented.
The transporters says this is not the first time he has lost goods, after he lost about N$500,000 in 2014 when his devils claws were confiscated in Zambia, and he never recovered them.
At the time of transporting the timber, the law only forbid the harvesting of mukula timber on Zambian territory, but not the transportation of the timber from another country.
The situation has now worsened, because as of April Zambia passed a law that states that it will not allow the transport of mukula timber through the country. This means the 200 trucks impounded in Zambia are unlikely to re-enter Namibia anytime soon.