Solicitor General and Director of Justice, Dr Janet Banda has singled out porous borders, weak legal framework and being surrounded by countries with high cases of wild trafficking as major challenges
Malawi is facing in her efforts to eliminate illegal wildlife trafficking.
Banda made the remarks Tuesday during the opening of a workshop organized by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in collaboration with the Conference of Western Attorneys General-Africa Alliance Partnership (CWAG AAP) on anti wildlife trafficking.
“Malawi has had a problem because it is like a transit nation and a hub because of corruption and the weak legal framework we have.
“However, we have made progress as a country in addressing this issue by putting in place new legislation in terms of the Wildlife Act and regulations, we are also reviewing the Forestry Act,” she said.
Banda added that the country has enhanced the fines after parliament approval in 2016 for perpetrators of wildlife trafficking and other related offences in order to prevent people from committing the crimes.
CWAG– AAP board member, Markus Green, stated that they would discuss best ways and ideas to be employed in tackling wildlife trafficking issues in USA, Zambia, KENYA, Malawi and other places that have similar issues.
“We will talk about solutions and all issues that can be discussed and debated which is all in recognition of the fact that we live in a global village such that what happens in USA affects what happens in Malawi and Vice-versa,” said Green.
Director in the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa said the workshop would help to enhance skills among wildlife and police officers responsible for investigations, law
enforcement and prosecution.
He said this would allow them to take to court cases that are well investigated and prosecuted, leading to longer jail terms for wildlife crimes.
In his remarks, ACB Director, Rednick Matemba told participants to the workshop that getting the training, knowledge and expertise was not enough if they did not check their integrity.
The two day inter-agency workshop is under the theme; ‘The sharing of knowledge and best practices on tactics for the arrest and prosecution of wildlife traffickers’.