Involvement of national parks rangers in illegal killing and selling of Malawi’s wildlife is making the fight against wildlife crime more complicated and difficult to win, British High Commissioner Michael Nevin has said.
Nevin said this on Thursday at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe where President Peter Mutharika launched a video clip containing messages against wildlife crimes.
He said some game rangers and national park officials connive with poachers in setting up snares while others are involved in the actual killing and selling of wildlife contrary to their job of protecting flora and fauna.
“Unfortunately, there are too many national parks rangers involved in the illegal killing and selling of Malawi’s wildlife. Perhaps a special task force could tackle this.
“There is too much collusion with poachers in the setting up of snares. Over 10 000 snares were found in Liwonde National Park during a six-month period alone last year. There are too many corrupt officials who facilitate the trade,” said Nevin.
In his remarks Mutharika said wildlife criminals have no room in the country, adding that Malawi’s natural resources are not to be plundered for the profit of a few individuals.
He said: “The future of wildlife is in our hands and indeed our own future depends on it too…and it is not acceptable for criminals such as those involved in illegal wildlife trade to operate within our borders. Our natural resources will not be plundered for the profit of the few.”
The video clip comprises messages from 15 diplomats in the country and that of Mutharika, each one of them urging people not to engage in activities that will in any way promote wildlife crime.
The involved diplomats are those from Britain, United States of America (USA), Zambia, Mozambique, Egypt, Brazil, Japan, China, Spain, Germany, India, Ireland, Korea, South Africa, Tanzania and Norway.