By Charles Mkoka
Salima First Grade Magistrate court has meted a four-year jail term on a notorious armed poacher believed to be behind a series of elephants attacks in Thuma Forest Reserve that spans Dowa, Dedza, Lilongwe and Salima districts.
The reserve, apart from being a nature sanctuary for big game such as buffaloes and a range of antelopes, is a catchment area for the Lilongwe and Linthipe rivers which discharge waters in Lake Malawi.
Daniel Chana, 28, from Mndola Village in Traditional Authority Kambwiri, was arrested on November 24, 2012 while in the company of two other suspected poachers from Kasungu that evaded arrest.
Chana entered the reserve and later gun shots were heard in the direction he took by alert villagers. Working on a tip, Wildlife Action Group enforcement team went to investigate and found one Elephant dead with the ivory removed.
The law enforcement team apprehended Chana and his gun was confisticated 100 meters from the site of dead Elephant. He was handed to Salima police and later granted bail.
But while waiting for his verdict which was supposed to be delivered by First Grade magistrate Court Alex Kantiki on May 16, Chana committed another offence by entering the reserve again, armed with a muzzle loader on May 10.
He, however, could not escape the long arm of the law. Rangers again cast their net wider resulting in Chana being disarmed of his muzzle loader arrested and later handed to police. More....