As Zimbabweans economic fortunes continue to deteriorate to pathetic all-time lows with the Emmerson Mnangagwa-led Harare administration apparently caught in sixes-and-sevens, failing to fulfill its 2018 pre-electoral promises of employment creation, the predominantly unemployed youths in the troubled southern African country have literally resorted to any form of financial generation in the pursuit of making ends meet amidst the prevailing jeopardy.

Oftentimes, the hard-pressed youths seem to overlook the legal implications bred by some of the interdicted-but-rewarding menial tasks they involuntarily partake to bring the much needed food on the table.

One such person appears to be a mid-30s male citizen from the landlocked southern African nation of an estimated 15 million people, who was Tuesday nabbed by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers from the country’s northern Muzarabani district after he was caught in possession of a Harare-destined contraband of 400 bags of charcoal without proper documentation.

The suspect has been identified as Larnore Zhakata, aged 35.

“The ZRP warns the public against wanton cutting down of trees, transporting of firewood without permits, possession of charcoal or selling firewood without the requisite permits,” the police tweeted.

Added the ZRP:

“On 22/03/22, Police in Muzarabani arrested Larnore Zhakata (35) for possession of 400 bags of charcoal without a permit. The contraband was intercepted at Muzarabani Boomgate in a DAF truck AFJ 2196 which was destined for Harare”.

Zimbabwe’s forestry authorities have perennially bemoaned the rampant firewood poaching by, especially the jobless youths, who take advantage of the demand for firewood by urbanites faced with seemingly interminable power cuts.

State-run entity, the Forestry Commission of Zimbabwe (FCZ), which is mandated with the regulation, management and conservation of forests has previously warned that the country’s forests will be extinguished if strict measures are not taken to punish violators of the country’s forestry statutory provisions.

Statistics from the United Nations say about 40.4% of Zimbabwe’s land, which translates to a round figure of 15,624,000 ha is forested. Of this, the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) estimates that 5.1% (801 000 ha) is categorised  as primary forest.

Primary forests imply the most bio-diverse, and carbon-dense form of forests.