‘Your weapons are not toys,’ Wuxi tourism minister tells hunting rangers

Minister of Tourism, Culture and Wildlife Michael Wisey said gamekeepers should respond with similar actions whenever they see their lives are in danger due to poachers.

The Minister made the announcement on Friday 17 June 2022 when he presided over the official donation of over 15 million crowns worth of various field equipment from the Attorneys General Alliance (AGA) and the Wildlife Explorers Alliance (WITA) to the Government of Malawi through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and wildlife.

He said it was important to know that the wildlife sub-sector contributes about 2.7% to the overall growth of the tourism sector and that the donation comes at the right time when tourism is a priority for the country’s socio-economic development. as envisaged in the Malawi Development Agenda 2063.

The minister added: “In order to motivate staff to fight wildlife crime, it is necessary to provide tools and equipment like those that were handed over to the government today. This will go a long way in reducing the problems that field personnel face in carrying out their noble duty.”

The minister expressed his sympathy to the Rangers for the death of their colleague, who was killed by thugs in Maching this April during an undercover operation to retrieve a rhinoceros horn that was killed by suspected poachers.

He said rangers, in addition to the service they render to society, also have a duty to protect themselves from the risks associated with their profession. So he advised them to always be on guard to protect themselves.

“You have to distinguish between an invader and a poacher. You talk to the invader and understand each other because often they exist for their livelihood. On the other hand, poachers are dangerous and their goal is to kill. Therefore, you must be equivalent in your answer,” Minister Wuxi said.

In a speech earlier, AGA Africa Program Director Chukukere K. Unamba-Opara said that his organization has been working with the Department of Wildlife for a long time and considers them partners, so they decided to make a donation.

He added that the AGA is working with various partners in many African countries such as Ghana, South Africa, the Seychelles and Zambia to train partners, including the judiciary and the police, in areas such as combating transnational cybercrime.

He applauded the commitment that Wildlife Department officers have shown over the years in the fight against wildlife crime.

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