By Davie Munkhondya
Kasungu Police is keeping in custody 28 Zambian nationals of age range between 17 to 54 for illegally settling into Kasungu National Park, contrary to the Parks and Wildlife Acts Section(s) 32, 33, 35 and 36 of the Republic of Malawi.
The illegal settlers were spotted by the parks and wildlife officers for Kasungu National Park on
24th November, 2013 while on patrol to the western border of Zambia and Kasungu National Park.
According to Kasungu Police Spokesperson, Edwin Kaunda, when parks officials reached Mtenthe area they discovered that a group of people have settled in the park and were busy cutting down trees with the aim of picking the caterpillars (Matondo).
The illegal settlers were arrested on Monday, November 25.
"These people were arrested on Monday, 25th November, 2013. When interviewed they told the parks officers that they are Zambians from Traditional Authority (TA) Chanje in Chipata and had been there for some time," explained Kaunda.
The 28 Zambian Nationals will appear in court soon to answer different charges ranging from residing in the protected area without permit contrary to Section 32 of the Parks and Wildlife Act, cultivating in the protected area without permit contrary to Section 35and Illegal entry into the protected area contrary to Section 32(1).
Furthermore, they are also expected to answer charges of illegal conveyance of weapons contrary to Section 33 and Illegal taking and destruction of trees in the protected area contrary to Section 35(b) of Parks and Wildlife Act.