The High Court in Mzuzu has granted the Government of Tanzania an injunction against the burning of 2.6 tonnes of ivory smuggled across the border, arguing the horns would be used as evidence during prosecution against poaching suspects.
However, presiding Judge Dingiswayo Madise has fined Tanzania K1 million for a late call against burning of the K4.5bn ivory.
The burning ceremony was earmarked for Mzuzu Nature Sunctuary as Malawi ramps up its efforts to curb poaching..
“We were all set to burn the trafficked ivory on Friday morning to show our commitment to the fight against elephant poaching and illegal trafficking of ivory until Tanzania prosecutors appeared to seek a court order to stop the process,” said Bright Kumchedwa, director of Malawi’s parks and wildlife department.
“The Tanzanians are seeking ways to take the ivory back home to be used as evidence,” said Kumchedwa.
“They want their ivory despite Malawi giving them notice of our intention to burn the illegal ivory. They never responded to our notice.”
Recently, the High Court in Mzuzu ordered Patrick and Chancy Kaunda to pay K5 million or spend seven years in jail for being found with ivory concealed under cement bags to beat security.
Malawi is currently reviewing its wildlife act to provide for stiffer penalties.