Malawian legal personnel set to combat wildlife crimes


Recently a symposium was organized for Malawian high court judges to prepare them for the implementation of the new law of National Parks and Wildlife, which is meant to help combat wildlife crimes.

In an interview with the Malawi News Agency (MNA) in Mangochi, Justice Edward Twea said that the new law stipulates very stiff punishments which have just been amended in January this year.

“This workshop is significant in the sense that it will help magistrates and judges to appreciate the implications of the new law of National Parks and Wildlife and that it works in the best interest of parliament and the economy of this country,” said Twea.

He added that when dealing with cases of wildlife crime, it is essential for legal personnel to trace the chain of the crime so as avoid injustice or imbalanced justice. He also said that judges there is need to trace the people behind the crimes and how ivory and rhino horns even beyond the borders of the country.

Director for Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa commended the people of the country’s judiciary for the sentences being meted out by the judiciary on wildlife offences in recent times. He further noted that the department has so far seen a significant increase in custodial sentences of up to 15 years attached with heavy fines.

He however lamented, “Despite these improvements, challenges still remain, we still have a number of people still involved in wildlife crime mainly trafficking of ivory and rhino horns. Poaching is still a problem in our parks and game reserves.”

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