Mzuzu: Department of National Parks and Wildlife has disclosed that it has registered 41 wildlife crime cases since January, 2018 in Rumphi district.
The Department said out of the 41 registered cases, it has managed to secure 17 convictions while the rest are being investigated.
Rumphi District Wildlife Crimes Prosecutor, Charles Mabethi told Malawi News Agency (Mana) Wednesday that most of the cases were registered in Nyika National Park and Vwaza Game Reserve.
These two protected areas are experiencing a lot of poaching which is threatening survival of wildlife hence negatively impacting on the country’s tourism sector.
This is posing a very serious threat as the country risks facing extinction of some animal species such as elephants, he explained.
Mabethi said people seem not to appreciate the importance of protecting wildlife despite the country having a legislation which calls for long term custodial sentence and fines for convicts of wildlife crimes.
He bemoaned that encroachment into protected areas for settlement and agricultural activities is another threat to the existence of the protected areas.
People need to be aware that settling and cultivating in these protected areas is illegal and punishable by the laws of the country,’ the Officer pointed out.
Source: Malawi News Agency MANA