Ministry drills wildlife officers in prosecution


Following the rising cases of poaching, the Ministry of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining has engaged several strategies aimed at improving the prosecution of wildlife cases in the country.

Speaking on behalf of the Principal Secretary for the Ministry, Director of National Parks and Wildlife, Brighton Kumchedwa said one such strategy was training wildlife officers as prosecutors.

Kumchedwa was speaking on Friday during the graduation of ten officers from different parks in the country that have undergone a two months training at Staff Development Institute in Blantyre.


Kumchedwa noted that a number of suspects that have committed the offence of poaching, have generally not been well prosecuted resulting in low fine and some cases have gone unprosecuted.

“There have been cases where Magistrates have complained that sometimes wildlife cases are not well prepared resulting in low fines. This presents opportunities for repeat offenders,” he said.

He added that the concerns were coming at a time when the country’s wildlife has been destroyed.


Kumchedwa said wildlife prosecutors will work closely with Malawi Police Prosecutors as it awaits the Director of Public Prosecution to give the officers consent to start prosecuting the offenders as is the case in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) region.

He said the training of the wildlife officers has come at a time when the ministry is reviewing the wildlife law.

“It is my hope, therefore, that this team of prosecutors who graduate today will now be expected to offer dedicated services to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife in ensuring that all offenders receive the full strength of the law,” said Kumchedwa.

He said government wishes to champion millennium development goals on governance and leadership, therefore it is the state desire that the rule of law is upheld in the country.

“Poaching as we know it is only limited to injustice against nature but is also a crime against public order since its effects are felt and affect human livelihood in areas of public security and public order. It is important to note that the possession of illegal firearms threatens national security, while increasingly compromising the rule of law,” said Kumchedwa.

He said wild animal used to roam freely in the past 30 years or so.

Kumchedwaa added that big animals today only exist in protected areas such as national parks, wildlife reserves and nature sanctuaries.

“Sadly, the situation in these protected areas is also not good at the moment due to high levels of poaching,” explained Kumchedwa.

Among the ten officers who graduated from the two months course, two were female.

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