By Fredrick Manda-Mana
Police in Nkhotakota are keeping in custody a 34-year-old man for allegedly entering into protected Nkhotakota Game Reserve and killing an Elephant.
This happened after Parks and Wildlife Assistants (PWA) on Tuesday December 10, 2019 arrested him inside the game reserve.
According to Nkhotakota Police Public Relations Officer, Sub Inspector Williams Kaponda, the suspect was identified as Samuel Kaliati.
Kaponda said he was found with a pair of Ivory weighing about 31 kilograms which according to game officials was removed from an Elephant worthy about MK19Million which he killed.
“In August this year, the suspect entered Nkhotakota game reserve and searched for an Elephant trail along Lisitu River.
“He put bread contaminated with acid poison deliberately for the Elephant to eat. Three days later, he killed one Elephant a few meters from where he put the poisoned bread.” he said.
Kaponda said following a tip from community members that Kaliati was keeping Ivory illegally, on October 9, the Parks and Wildlife Assistants tricked him as potential buyers.
“The officers instigated for a meeting to buy the commodity. However, the deal flawed as the suspect, while negotiating for the price got suspicious and ran away,” he added.
The police spokesperson said Ivory was immediately confiscated and the suspect was only arrested two-months afterwards (on December 10, 2019) upon his return in the village.
The suspect will soon appear before the court of law to answer charges of entering into protected area and killing protected species without permission contrary to section 32 and 33 respectively of National Parks and Game Reserve Act of 2017.
The suspect hails from Mugando village in the area of senior chief Kanyenda in Nkhotakota district.