Malawi MPs propose ‘Shoot to kill’ policy for poachers

Members of Parliament Wednesday proposed an inclusion of a ‘shoot to kill poachers’ regulation to the national parks and wildlife Bill amendment.

The proposal is in relation to the increased poaching cases of the country’s wildlife particularly in National parks, game reserves and other protected places.

Member of Parliament for Lilongwe Msinja South, Lingston Belekanyama while debating on the Bill said the country’s precious spices continued to decline as poachers kept invading the parks.

He said the escalation of poaching was also a result of restrictions as to what extent game rangers could go when hunting down poachers.

“The problem has been that these poachers enter the parks heavily armed and because the law does not provide protection to rangers in cases where he has shot a poacher. This is why, I am proposing to this house that we must consider a shoot to kill amendment,” Belekanyama explained.

The legislature said when a ranger kills a poacher he is instead of appreciated accused of killing and to some extent sentenced when he was actually protecting the protected animals.

Lilongwe Mapuyu Legislature, Joseph Njobvuyalema concurred with Belakanyama that serious amendments like the shoot to kill be adopted by the house as a mean of reducing cases of wildlife poaching.

“Apart from the exorbitant fine we have proposed for poachers and everyone found connected with depletion of the country’s wildlife, I agree to the proposal that a shoot to kill amendments be adopted,” he added.

Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining, Bright Msaka said government wouldn’t want to take somebody’s life when they are several ways of punishing those in conflict of the law.

He said no government in the world has ever passed that horrible law and Malawi was not ready to adopt that.

“Where on earth has any government passed a shoot to kill legislation? No, we cannot accept that,” the Minister said.

He added, “no matter that we are protecting the country’s wildlife but we cannot take life,”

Apart from the shoot to kill proposal, MPs agreed a fine of K2 to 5 Million to anyone found poaching.

Other amendments that were brought forward during debate were about the construction and improvement of road network to parks and games and open opportunity to Malawians to run these tourism centers.

Source: Malawi News Agency – MANA