Dust is refusing to settle in the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) eastern region as its regional governor Julius Paipi continue to be drawing more controversies.
Paipi, who is a renowned fisherman conducting his trade on the shores of Lake Malawi in Mangochi , was recently caught fishing in prohibited areas during an inspection which was conducted by the Parliamentary committee on agriculture and fisheries officers from Mangochi.
While patrolling on the lake on Friday, the committee members led by its Chairperson Chidanti Malunga encountered Paipi’s trawlers fishing in protected area B which is reserved for breeding of fish.
When Paipi’s boys saw the inspection boat following them, they started running away to some deep waters. But the inspection boat followed them and they caught them before confiscating the fishing nets and other materials.
In an interview, Malunga confirmed that boats belonging to Paipi were caught contravening fishing regulations and were subsequently fined MK400, 000 by the courts in Mangochi.
Chidanti further blamed the DPP governor for using his political influence in bulldozing into fishing in areas where other fishermen are not allowed to fish due to their nature of being natural breeding areas of fish in lake Malawi.
In a video clip circulating on social media which was apparently shot by the inspection team, one of the fisheries officials told the MPs that they are having problems with boats belong to Paipi because he threatens them every time he is caught in the protected area.
“If we are having problems patrolling on the lake it is because of this man. He uses his political power to threatens us every time his boats are caught. But today he is very unlucky because he has been caught by you fellow politicians so we will see how he is going to threaten you,” said one a fisheries officer in the clip.
In his remarks Chidanti said the committee, which was accompanied by leaders in parliament of all the parties represented in parliament, is very much concerned that Paipi, instead of him being exemplary is leading in illegal fishing.
He indicated that the team will meet to map the way forward because Paipi’s action has the potential to encourage other people into breaking fishing regulations.