Two wealth seeking men in Lilongwe have been jailed for seven years each for being found in possession of a pangolin which they was selling at K7 million.
Pangolin is a protected animal under the laws of Malawi.
The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court, Florence Msekandiana has sentenced George Salirana and Harold Jezwell to serve the seven-year-jail term each.
Salirana, 36, comes from Chizilumbi village T/A Chitseka in Lilongwe district and Harold Jezwell, 20, comes fron Mtukulo village T/A Chitseka in Lilongwe.
The court was told that the two were on September 8, 2020 at Kapalanje Trading Centre in Mitundu, Lilo gwe were found with the pangolin valued at K7 million without permit from the minister responsible.
This was a contravention of section 86 (1) as read with section 110 B (b) of the National Parks and Wildlife Act and Part III of National Parks and Wildlife ( protected, endangered and listed species) Declaration order. 2017. Cap 66:07 of the laws of Malawi.
The State paraded three witness and in his submission prosecutor S/Insp. Patrick Chipote of Central West Region Police Headquarters prayed for a sharp sentence looking at how serious the offense is.
Chipote said that pangolins are most trafficked animals and are protected under national and international laws but still more there is a growing international illegal trade hence a need to prevent further extinction.
He said courts are there to impose sentences that do not undermine or deny the express intentions of those who enacted laws.
Msekandiana agreed with the state that it is high time Malawi has to stop completely the poaching and trade of pangolins.
She said an immediate custodial sentence was applicable looking at the way the animal was treated by wrapping it in a sack and zip it in a lap top bag to conceal the contraband.
Msekandiana said at a time the world is geared to protect the animals, the court cannot do the contrary but following suit.
She said that wildlife is important in returning the ecological life to the people.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :