Campaigners for the protection of Forest 27 have started the process of petitioning the International Criminal Court in the Hague and The Global Environmental Crimes Tribunal seeking sanctions against individuals that have obtained plots in the Forest Reserve.
It is believed that some influential figures such a Vice President Inonge Wina, Speaker Patrick Matibini, Lands Minister Jean Kapata and several others have shared plots in the Forest Reserve.
If the petition is successful, the perpetrators could face sanctions such as travel bans, seizure of ill gotten wealth and cash stashed away in foreign banks as is applicable under EU, UK, US Laws and Statutes in such cases.
According to the campaigners, the “Impunity, frenzy and massive Destruction, Degradation and Deforestation going on in Protected Lusaka East Local Forest Reserve No. 27, the source of the Chalimbana River, coupled with the discharge of raw sewage into the River itself by the illegal ZAF TwinPalm Housing Project, which is now negatively affecting the health and livelihoods in the Busoli Local Communities in the Lower Chalimbana River Basin-is an Inter-generational injustice that has now reached intolerable proportions.”
“The Destruction of Forest Reserve no 27 is now an Environmental and Human Rights Crime and qualifies to be reported as such to The Global Environmental Crimes Tribunal and International Criminal Court in the Hague for punitive action against the perpetrators.”
“We are now calling on all concerned Parties like Transparency International (TI), and Cooperating Partners to help us save this critical forest reserve. “Environmental Crime committed anywhere is an Environmental crime committed Everywhere. All things are Connected,” they said in a petition.
They said they will conduct and audit and compile a list of all individual and corporate beneficiaries who have illegally shared Plots in the Forest Reserve.
They said the list will be passed on to The ICC and some Cooperating Countries, so that sanctions are imposed on these “Miscreants.”
The campaigners have also demanded that The Commander of the Zambia National Service (ZNS) immediately Order the Withdrawal of ALL ZNS road construction equipment and Personnel now deployed in Forest Reserve 27 illegally being used in the destruction of the Reserve through building and road construction now under way there.
“ZNS is big doing “National Service” but serving private and not national interstate of the Forest Reserve.”