The Forestry Department in Chipata has warned people to desist from cutting down trees in the forest or face stern action.
District Forestry Officer Emma Sakala told Breeze News that her department has intensified patrols in the forest to stop illegal cutting of trees.
Ms Sakala says people cutting trees, either for planks or charcoal without permits will be arrested.
She says that the department has so far facilitated the conviction of two people from Chief Madzimawe’s area for illegal cutting down of trees in the forest.
The Forestry Officer says people found cutting trees without permits will be fined two thousand kwacha and sent to prison for the offence.
Ms Sakala says the district forestry department has also apprehended 9 people, who were illegally found cutting trees in the forest and will appear in court next week.