A game guard of the Salambala communal conservancy in eastern Zambezi region has been arrested on 16th September 2020 together with a Zambian national for poaching an impala, an Egyptian Goose and a Guinea Fowl without a permit. Angels Lipuo Masilani, who has been a game guard since 2008 appeared together with Lifasi Muchelo, who has been illegally working as a cattle herder in Namibia, on three charges of illegal hunting and for illegal use of a firearm and possession of ammunition. A .22 hunting rifle and ten bullets which belong to another person have been confiscated.
Both men appeared in court already. Bail was denied and their next court appearance will be on the 3rd of November this year. Impala are classified as protected species in Namibia. The Common Impala in the Salambala communal conservancy originate from South Africa and were released shortly after the conservancy was registered in June 1998. Common Impala are special protected game while Egyptian Geese and Guinea Fowl are classified as huntable game which may only be hunted at certain times of the year with a hunting permit.
According to the wildlife crime statistics of the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism and the Protected Resources Division of the Namibian Police, another two men were arrested near the Kwando in western Zambezi region for poaching a lechwe. Kaela Mushambe and Njanji Samwaka were arrested on the 9th September 2020 and face three different charges for contravening the Nature Conservation act.In Tsumeb four men, Sydney Roberrt Mupetami, Festus Ochurub, Bonnie Neidel and Mathias Uixab, appeared for illegally shooting four duiker (protected gamme) on the 19th September 2020. One .30-06 hunting rifle, one .22 hunting rifle, four bullets and a vehicle were confiscated by the police.
According to the police there is an increase of poaching of smaller game mainly by people who had been working in the tourism industry or who benefited from tourism and trophy hunting. Since tourism came to a standstill six month ago due to COVID-19 people have been without income or benefits from lodges and trophy hunting in communal conservancies. There have been no trophy hunters in the country and as a result no meat been distributed to local communities. Without tourists lodges are not able to pay the conservancy’s and had to retrench staff.