The Zambian national accused in the MK53 million wildlife crime, Kelby Roy Malambo, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, started defending himself in the case, a development that has inspired hope among concerned parties that the case may now be heading towards its conclusion.
Malambo is actually witness number one of the defense, according to defense lawyer Overton Chidothe.
Malambo, who was found with a case to answer in September last year, is facing trial in Lilongwe before Senior Resident Magistrate Wanangwa Nyirenda.
At the last court appearance, State Prosecutor Levison Mangani expressed worry over the slow pace at which the case is progressing.
This was after the case had been adjourned before several times, as the defense had kept on giving excuses.
Malambo was found with 22 pieces of raw ivory, weighing 64.905 kilograms valued at about MK53 million at Mwami Border Total Filling Station in Mchinji in February last year, which led to his arrest.
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.
All those offences are contrary to the National Parks and Wildlife Act of 2017.
But in his defense on Tuesday, Malambo gave an account which, among other things, 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 defense then sought an adjournment, after Malambo had testified, in order to summon the remaining witnesses who are reportedly from Zambia.
Magistrate Nyirenda then adjourned the matter to 29 March, 2022 for further defense.
Malambo, 47, comes from Livingstone City in Monze District in Zambia.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :