A COURT in Malawi on 21 June denied granting bail to three men suspected of poaching in Majete Wildlife Reserve located in the southern region district of Chikwawa.
Damalekani Sin’dyakwanu, Maxwell Walasi and Davie Chimango are facing charges of entering into a protected area, hunting in a protected area without permit, conveying firearms into a protected area without authority and possessing prohibited weapons.
Chikwawa Police spokesperson, Foster Benjamin, said lawyer for the three, Yasin Domasi, applied for bail, arguing that his clients have a constitutional right to be granted the same.
The lawyer, among other grounds, argued that his clients needed to seek medical attention since they had suffered beating by game rangers.
The state, however, through southern region police prosecutor, Florida Zimbiri, asked the court not to grant them bail by pointing out that the three hail from the border district of Neno and that chances of fleeing into the neighbouring Mozambique were high.
She further downplayed claims that the suspects were tortured by the rangers by stating that they had not complained to the police.
In his ruling, magistrate Gladstone Chirundu concurred with the state and denied to grant bail to the three by observing that the accused could indeed jump bail by sneaking into Mozambique.
The case has been adjourned to July 4. Chirundu has asked the state to finalize its paperwork for the speed trial.
This comes at a time when the international community is advocating serious action against poachers who are posing a threat to protected wildlife like elephants and rhinos.
All the three suspects hail from Felemu Village in the area of Traditional Authority Mlauli in Neno District.