By Michael Kaluba
The Zambia National Association for Sawmillers-ZNAS- is demanding that the Zambia Forestry and Forest Corporations Plc-ZAFFICO suspends the sale of wood scheduled to commence today, until issues on pricing and model of sales are dealt with.
The association has rejected the newly implemented 25 percent price increment on pine wood and 85 percent for eucalyptus against which the association counter proposed 10 percent and 30 percent respectively, saying ZAFFICO has gone ahead to announce the new prices before negotiations are concluded.
Addressing the media in Kitwe this morning, Association General Secretary Derrick Chilatu says his members are demanding that the sale of pine and eucalyptus wood be suspended immediately, for ZAFFICO to abolish the new first come first serve mode of selling and to honor agreements with stakeholders that includes only implementing negotiated and agreed prices for 2023 after a 10 percent hike in 2022.
Mr. Chilatu explains that there is mistrust between the association, ZAFFICO and the over 1,060 direct members due to the questionable processes of applications for the 2023 business year, issuing of offer letters through Whatsapp with unfavorable conditions attached including the opening of sales today with increased prices, devoid of transparency.
But ZAFFICO Public Relations Manager Ireen Chipili says the price increase was inevitable due to high operational costs as a result of the prevailing fuel prices, the need to sustain the corporations operations and argues that it is unrealistic for Sawmillers to dictate the price of the commodity that they are buying.
CREDIT: PHOENIX NEWS