Wednesday: 16th May, 2018
Further to our statement of 3rd May 2018 on the poaching of two black rhinos and their calf that occurred in Meru National Park on 2nd May 2018, we note with satisfaction the progress made on the matter so far by KWS and the other security agents.
Cabinet Secretary Hon. Najib Balala is satisfied with the timely action taken on the staff who were directly responsible at the rhino sanctuary. They were initially interdicted, then suspended and on 5th May 2018 charged in court with (1) ‘Killing an animal within a protected area contrary to section 77 as read with section 92 of the Wildlife conservation and management Act 2013’ and (2) ‘Failing to prevent the commission of a felony contrary to section 392 of the penal code’.
The ongoing Investigations have also implicated two more officers who were taken to court on 14th May 2018, where they pleaded not guilty and have been remanded in Kangeta Police Station awaiting consideration for bond on 17th May 2018.
CS Balala wishes to reiterate his directive on issues of crime against wildlife to all KWS officers: that those who do a good job will be rewarded, but those whose area of jurisdiction experiences poor performance and where poaching occurs, will be held personally responsible in equal measure. Such liable officers will not be transferred, but will be dealt with accordingly.
Furthermore, CS Balala restates that the government will push for poachers to be handed the severest punishment possible within our judicial system.
In the meantime, investigations into the Meru National Park Rhino poaching case continue and we are confident that we do not have long to wait. The results will be announced as we progress. We want to assure the Nation, and the world conservation fraternity, that we will not rest until those responsible have been brought to book.
We have enhanced our wildlife protection efforts through intelligence, as well as other security measures; including aerial and ground patrols by our security agents in all our protected and other sensitive wildlife areas.