MOYO. At least six people have been arrested for illegal logging in Onyire Village, Moyo Sub County in Moyo district.
The suspects were arrested on Sunday following a tip off from concerned residents of the area.
At the time of their arrest, 20 protected tree species of Afzelia Africana had already been fallen down and 40 logs were also recovered in the process. The six are currently being held at Moyo sub county headquarters.
But Ms Palma Ukuyo, the Onyire village Chairperson blamed the persistent illegal logging business in the area on some of the locals.
She claimed that some of the community members were promised money to identify such valuable trees in the forested land thus aiding the process.
“Some locals were promised shs50, 000 for each tree identified. This is unacceptable behavior in our community because you cannot sale the entire community just for shs50, 000. We shall follow this matter to its logical conclusion with the help of other community members to punish such people,’’ Ukuyo said.
Mr Emmanuel Bada, the Moyo district youth Councilor said the community members in the area have been lured with money for each tree identified due to their ignorance about the dangers of destroying the environment.
He warned that such community members will not be spared by the law if they happen to be victims of such acts of destroying the environment.
Bada also alleged that the loggers are using security operatives in Kampala to back up their operation. He urged the locals to be vigilant in protecting the environment in Moyo district.
The assistant forest officer Moyo district, Mr Christopher Toko said it is unlawful to cut down the protected tree species that have lived for years and as a result, the six will be charged for illegal logging.
Toko said some of the items that were also recovered include; power machine and a trailer for ferrying the logs.
He, however, called upon locals to cooperate with district leaders in a bid to put an end to the logging business in the district.
Metu and Moyo sub counties are the most affected sub counties when it comes to illegal logging business in Moyo district.