Malawi President Peter Mutharika is being lauded by Animal lovers in the west and their Governments for the decision he made to burn confiscated Elephant Tusks. The decision caused heated debate. Social media and online chat forums set alight, with calls to cash in on the “millions” that Malawi could make from selling its recovered ivory.
The West insist the ivory is valueless because selling it would have to be laundered illegally, breaking international law. International law forced on poor African countries by the West.
They say Malawi has been a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) since 1982. Under CITES, international trade in ivory has been banned since 1989.
Thus, Selling Malawi’s ivory would therefore be no different from taking a haul of confiscated cocaine and deciding not to destroy it but to sell it back into the black market.
At the same time a sale, by breaking several signed declarations, would negate much of the recent work done by the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) to galvanize international support.
That is the Argument the West makes. Let’s see the Elephants are already dead. Malawi is poor and can use every penny available to it by exchanging the burning of the Ivory with money from those that are particularly eager to have Malawi as an example.
The West confiscates money from the illicit trade of Cocaine and they never burn the money. Their Banks earn interest from Money laundered by drug dealers.
So Mutharika should insist the west bear the cost of burning the Ivory before doing so voluntarily.