The Minister said this on Friday, June 17, 2022 when he presided over the official handover of assorted field equipment worth over K15 million from the Attorney Generals’ Alliance (AGA) and the Wildlife Investigators’ Alliance (WITA) to the Malawi Government through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife.
Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife, Michael UIsi has said game rangers must respond with equivalent action whenever they see that their lives are in danger against poachers.
Usi thanked AGA and WITA for the kind donation of valuable equipment to be used by staff from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife, in their duty of combating wildlife crime.
He said it is important to know that the wildlife sub-sector contributes about 2.7% to the overall growth of the tourism sector, and that the donation has comes at the right time when tourism is being prioritized for the socio-economic development of the country as envisaged in Malawi 2063 development agenda.
Added the Minister: “In order to motivate staff in this fight against wildlife crime, there is a need to provide the tools and equipment, such as these that have been handed over to the Government today. These will go a long way in reducing the challenges that field staff face as they discharge their noble duty.”
The Minister commiserated with the Rangers on the death of their colleague who was killed by thugs in Machinga in April this year, during an undercover mission to recover a Rhino horn that was killed by suspected poachers.
He said the Rangers, part from the service they provide to the community, also have a duty to protect themselves against the hazards of their profession. He thus advised them to always be alert to defend themselves.
“Your guns are not toys. You must therefore be ready to use them whenever you lives are in danger in line with your training.
“You must differentiate between an encroacher and poacher. You talk to an encroacher and understand each other because often times, they are there for their livelihood. A poacher on the other hand is dangerous and their intent is to kill. You must therefore be equivalent in your response,” said Minister Usi.
In his remarks earlier, AGA’s Programme Director for Africa, Chukukere K Unamba-Oparah, said his organization has worked with the Department of Wildlife for a long time and considers them as partners, which is why they decided to make the donation.
He added that AGA works with various partners in many countries across Africa such as Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles and Zambia to train partners that include the Judiciary and Police in areas such as combating transnational cyber crimes.
He hailed the commitment that officers from the Department of Wildlife have shown over the years in combating wildlife crime.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :