MZIMBA-(MaraviPost)-Some disgruntled illegal loggers in northern Malawi’s Viphya Plantation have poisoned a nursery of blue gum trees worth K40 million (US$ 55, 300) enough to plant 84 hectares of land.

Forestry Manager for Raiply Malawi Limited Nathaniel Nthala said that the investor who has lost K40 million in the poisoned nursery has been forced to stop planting blue-gum trees this year.

“This is not the first time for unknown people to spray poisonous chemicals on our tree nurseries. In 2015/2016 they poisoned pine trees at Kauteka nursery which forced us to close it since the soil was polluted,” said Nthara.

District Commissioner for Mzimba Thomas Chirwa while also confirming the development said the council and police will jointly hunt for those suspected of killing trees.

Said Chirwa: “We are saddened with this development which is barbaric, but I am sure the culprits will be arrested and brought to book.”

Raiply Malawi Limited is the biggest concessioner in Viphya Plantation with 20,000 hectares of land.

Viphya Plantation, once southern Africa’s man-made forest, stretches across the two northern region districts of Mzimba and Nkhata Bay.