By PRISCA JANGAZYA and CHATULA KAMPO , The Times of Zambia, May 29, 2013
An inspector in the Zambia Police Service and eight other suspected poachers have been arrested for illegally being in possession of Government trophy.
ZAWA Board chairperson Guy Robinson said 27kg of elephant ivory tusks worth USD$ 27 047 suspected to have been poached were intercepted at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport after an attempt to illegally export them to China.
Mr Robinson said the ZAWA anti-poaching patrol under the Western command arrested the suspects and confiscated two AK47 rifles with 32 rounds of ammunition, six pieces of elephant ivory tusks, three elephant tails, 915kg of dried game meat, two bicycles and 29kg of dried warthog meat.
Speaking during the official signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the African Wildlife Foundation conservation project in Lusaka yesterday, Mr Robinson said stiff measures should be implemented to conserve wildlife.
He said senior wildlife police officers in collaboration with the Zambia Police Service and Zambia Army would work together to determine the sources of crime and bring the alleged perpetrators to book.
“With a great sense of frustration, the increasing involvement of public officers allegedly found committing wildlife and related economic crimes whilst using Government transport to conceal their activities is a source of concern.
“Our patrols are on the increase and our staff of wildlife police officers will be empowered to inspect vehicles suspected to be conveying Government trophy contraband,” Mr Robinson said.
He said from the period January to April 2013, ZAWA conducted 2,675 law enforcement operations which resulted in 56,047 patrol man-days.
He urged men and women in the uniformed forces to work with ZAWA to eradicate the abuse of ammunition sourced from official stocks.