Malawi government has destroyed a stockpile of ivory worthy K5 billion after succumbing to pressure from international organisations.
We earlier reported that government was planning to sell the ivory to China following a suggestion by Minister of Natural Resources Bright Msaka during a press conference held on Friday that government wanted to raise money by putting the ivory on the market.
But new reports reaching our newsroom indicate that the stockpile was this morning set on fire in Mzuzu before court officials, police, government officials as well as local and international activists fighting against wildlife crime.
Mutharika said in March last year that destroying the ivory in what was deemed the world’s most expensive bonfire was intended to serve as a gesture demonstrating his government’s commitment to the fight against wildlife crime.
However, the bonfire was halted following a court order obtained by Tanzania, saying it wanted to parade the stockpile as evidence in the prosecution of suspected poachers.
Unconfirmed estimates claim that over 20,000 elephants are killed a year across Malawi and its three neighbouring countries. A vox pop on the issue shows that a majority of people backed the decision to have the ivory sold rather than set on fire.