Zambian nabbed over ivory bracelets


A ZAMBIAN woman has been arrested in Ethiopia for illegally being in possession of three hand bracelets made out of ivory.
Esther Namakuba Muyangana was last week travelling from Miami to Zambia, as a transit passenger via Addis Ababa, and was arrested at Bole International Airport for allegedly being in possession of the bracelets without a Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) permit.
Almost all African countries including Ethiopia are party to the convention which prohibits commercial trade in ivory and ivory products.
ZAWA communications and public relations officer Readith Muliyunda said some ZAWA officers would travel to Ethiopia to investigate the case.
“We are appealing to Zambians to take matters pertaining to the possession of ivory and ivory products very seriously.
“Wearing ivory bracelets is a symbol of cultural identity in Zambia, but people should also be cautious of the laws and regulations surrounding possession of such items as it relates to the protection of wildlife,” she said.
She said ZAWA was also requesting members of the public in possession of elephant tasks, rhino horns and other wildlife products to declare them to the ZAWA head office in Chilanga and get a certificate of ownership to avoid arrests by local authorities.
“However, if you wish to travel, you can either leave your bracelets and ornaments behind or seek further guidance from ZAWA on how to obtain a CITES certificate that will allow you to carry your products without the risk of being arrested in other countries,” Ms Muliyunda said.
Prohibited wildlife products that require a ZAWA and CITES permit when travelling include ivory in its raw and carved form, protected plants, elephant hair products, reptile and wildlife skins, bird eggs and feathers, wildlife horns, teeth, tusks and claws, and bush meat.
ZAWA also arrested someone last month at the airport with a bottle opener whose handle was made out of a warthog tooth.