The second defence witness testified in the MK53 million wildlife crime case involving Zambian national, Kelby Roy Malambo.
The witness, Moses Richard, also a Zambian national and working as a watchman at Malambo’s shop in Zambia, gave an account before the Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Thursday, which suggests that his boss was “tricked” by a man known only as Steve.
Malambo, who started defending himself on 8 March this year, was found with 22 pieces of raw ivory, weighing 64.905 kilograms and valued at about MK53 million. He was arrested at Mwami Border Total Filling Station in Mchinji in February, 2021.
He faces three charges, which include; being found in possession of specimen of listed species, dealing in government trophy and importing specimen of listed species without producing to a customs officer a valid permit.
Richard told the court that Malambo’s movement into Malawi with the things he is accused of possessing, keep “baffling” him to this day.
“I overheard Steve asking Malambo to keep some goods (Hardware items) that he had bought from Zambia.
Later, two motorcycle operators came with one passenger to collect the bag and Malambo called Steve, asking why he did not come himself because he also owed Malambo some cash, among other things.
I noticed that they used an uncharted route, which, as I observed after following up, Malambo protested. Later, information reached me that my boss had been arrested in Malawi,” Richard said, in part.
In cross-examination, Richard said he did not know that Malambo had pictures of ivory in his phone. He also said he did not know the contents of the bag and that he did not know for how long Steve and his boss had known each other.
On 8 March, Malambo, who is actually the first witness of the defence, also gave an account which, among others, points to facts that he was not the owner of the items, that he was just asked to bring the items to Malawi and that he did not even know the items because they were sealed in sack bags.
The defence was reportedly supposed to parade two witnesses on Thursday.
However, defence counsel, Overton Chidothi, said the other witness, who is reportedly the last defence witness, did not show up because was attending to a funeral at home in Zambia.
Meanwhile, the court has set 17 June, 2022 for further hearing of defence, after the defence asked for adjournment.
All those offences Malambo committed are contrary to the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 2017.
Malambo, 47, comes from Livingstone City in Monze District in Zambia.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :