Incineration is not good enough because law reinforcement is lacking
This industry has been growing for years. In 2011, about four tons of ivory tasks where burned in Cabo Delgado province’s Quirimba National Park. These tusks were seized after the closed trucks used for transporting the illicit ivory broke down about 2 kilometers from the rangers’ check point in the park. “It took place at the time where we had many elephants,” said one source.
Behind this were well-organized syndicates, organizing everything from transportation to crossing the police and agriculture officials’ check points with ivory from elephants poached at Bilibiza lagoon, Metupe-Npule, and villages along the Montepuez River.
“Carona brought poachers from Montepuez - and today, he is the manager of Majune Safaris in Niassa province,” said another source contacted by this reporter. Indeed, the new wildlife conservation bill still has some gaps and big bonanzas for the criminal syndicates, and many a “prosecutor was still protecting his own people."
“Judge, prosecutor benefit poachers”
Agriculture Ministry, Tourism and Interior, Law n-10/99, 7 June Forest and wildlife Bill
Decree n-12/2002, 6 June Given competence for the agriculture, tourism and interior minister to approve the statute of the inspector of forest and wildlife; article 107,Maputo June 2006
Article 43 (Repressive tools and use)
1- The ranger as a right to carry and use a firearm even without a license during his duty and its legitimacy use of it protecting states, self-defense or protecting other rangers on their duty cannot be criminalized.
2- The rangers will only use force or firearm under high rational risk circumstances for his own physical or third person’s integrity; Or before a citizen his confirmed resistance for the ranger’s inspection during his duty or law measure applications
In March 2015, a joint operation by Rangers from Niassa National Reserve (NNR), Luwire Camp and by officials from Mozambican Police based in Marupá on pursuing poachers was held in the Reserve. During the operation five poachers were arrested and their two firearms confiscated.
Seven rangers from NNR, Luwire Camp and police officials where herd judged in Mecula court alleged by excessive use of force during poachers’ questioning.
In court the female judge, mainly Danilo Tiago the Mecula prossecutor defended the poachers. He even said we rangers have to pay the poachers, he wrote it in a paper and held it to the judge.” Said a ranger
The other firearm, a .375, was confiscated from 19-year-old Rachide Chaibo (“Issa”), who remained in jail because he could not pay the bail. Chaibo confirmed to the Mecula court that the firearm belongs to his uncle Issufo, a poacher who was beaten up first by the rangers and later by police official, resulting injuries that saw him later hospitalized for 10 days.
The fact is corroborated by one of the rangers. “We did beat the poacher and later we took him to the police station and there he was excessively beaten up and they took him to the hospital. We even said it in court.”
A The Tanzanian poacher arrested Muricho Rachid Muricho (who paid bail of 95 thousands Meticais ($3.275.862 and was released) was using a semi-automatic firearm which belonged Captain Joao(He is known as Captain Joao) of the Mozambican Army Defense Force (FADEMO), stationed at the Marupá district military headquarters.
“The Tanzanian poacher said that the firearm belongs to Joao, the only one soldier -captain in Marupa. There is no other Joao and when we asked Joao he also did confirm that the weapon belongs to him and he gave it to the Tanzanian Poacher in order to infiltrates him inside the poachers’ network. He is a military and not a ranger, not authorized”. Said the rangers the court, police station never invited Joao for the hearing.
Recently on 28th June, Mecula court fined the NNR and Luwire rangers to between four to nine thousands met ($153 to 310) in damages to Issufo and three poachers from Lichungwe-Marupá in jail, payable by 7th August 2015. Issufo today is back at his business, running a taxi in the Mecula-Marupá area.
The real problem was the administrator and prosecutor Cornelio, the rangers said. In October 2014, six rangers (three each from NNR and James’ block) caught poachers during an operation held in the Rovuma River area. But then they were arrested by the police border patrol - because the poachers were working for them. One of the NNR rangers was beaten so badly, he was hospitalized for a month. No action was taken against the border police. “Cornelio, including the Mecula prosecutor, did nothing about this case, and now we have to pay theses poachers or go to jail!” said one of the rangers involved.
The rangers allege that Antonio Bernardo had told them he and Paul Nhenge had paid Mecula prosecutor Danilo Tiago and the chief of police operations a bribe of USD $16, 129. Tiago had previously denied any knowledge or involvement in this.
Recently on 05/08/15 Felisberto Mutereua the Chimbunila- Administrator and other seven people were detained by rangers ‘poaching’ inside Maua forest. The case was taken to police station and to the Mozambican general Attorney in district where the defendant, administrator was heard by a prosecutor and later released. “He has firearm possession and hunting permits like many people I do know here. The others were never been in police station or in a hearing session with prosecutor! And he was granted a holiday while the others remain behind bars Says a source in Lichinga.
Wildlife and forest conservation law.
In spite of the Penal Code’s Article 253 having been stiffened on September 9 last year, several repeat offenders still walk free and Mozambique still was awash in a sea of illegal AK-47s.
Two crimes, poaching and illegal firearm possession, can result in about 24 years imprisonment but this new bill, is made only for poachers, in general poor people and benefits the kingpins getting rich and rich on trade , exportation of product from poaching even on timber looting. Kingpins are not imprisoned; they are condemned only to pay a bail and are set free by the Judicial System.
And yet, Mozambique is always present at all international meetings on environmental issues, the rangers bitterly remarked.