Wildlife crime rates worry MRA
The tax-collecting body, Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), has described the wildlife crime statistics in the country as depressing.
Speaking when she opened a week-long wildlife crime combat training for 30 officers, MRA Deputy Commissioner General, Roza Mbilizi, said the existence of limited resources available to protect the wildlife and weak legislation are compounding the crimes.
Officers from government institutions that directly deal with wildlife crimes along the country’s borders and entry points yesterday started a week-long training aimed at improving their law enforcement capabilities on such crimes.
The officers have been drawn from Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA), the Department of Immigration, Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB).
“The statistics are grim for a small country with a small population of wildlife such as Malawi. I have been informed that in the 1980s Kasungu National Park was home to about 2,000 elephants, but now there are only 40. It’s scary to say that numbers are still going down,” Mbilizi said.
She said MRA commits to deal with wildlife crimes as ruthlessly as the law can provide.
“Besides revenue collection, we are mandated to protect the society and the environment from harmful importation and exportations. We will continue to be vigilant in all our borders in order to ensure that only legitimate imports and exports cross the border,” she said.
Mbilizi said the war against wildlife crime is no longer about educating people on the negative impacts of such crimes but serious enforcement of the anti-wild life crime laws.
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