By RENSON MNYAMWEZI
KENYA: Kenya Wildlife Service has interdicted ten security officers on suspicion of being secret agents of poachers in Tsavo Conservation Area. Among those interdicted are an acting senior warden, a company commander, five platoon commanders and three rangers.
According to the TCA Senior Assistant Director Julius Kimani, the interdicted personnel had been frustrating the war against poaching in both Tsavo East and West national parks in Taita Taveta County.
This comes in the wake of increased cases of poaching activities among other wildlife related crimes in the region. The move has also come at a time when the Government has launched a massive operation to flush out illegal herders, armed poachers and aliens in Tsavo.
“We have interdicted the officers for engaging in omission and commission of poaching activities. They have secretly been giving information to the poachers making it difficult for KWS to effectively deal with the poaching menace,” said Kimani.
“The officers received their interdiction letters last Thursday and will be reporting to their respective duty stations twice a month. Once we find they have been involved in criminal activities they will be sacked and prosecuted,” the director warned.
The incident brings to 13 the number of security personnel implicated in criminal activities in the region in the past year. Three security personnel among them two rangers and a prison warder were arrested for engaging in poaching activities recently. The suspects who have since been sacked have cases still pending in court, said Kimani.
“There are ‘moles’ within KWS who are frustrating the war against poaching. Such unscrupulous secret agents are not only wrecking KWS from within, but also undermining wildlife conservation efforts,” added the director. “Intelligence reports indicate that some dishonest KWS personnel are working in cahoots with criminal gangs to undermine the fight against poaching activities. The KWS management will not relent in its efforts to smoke out such criminal elements.”
Speaking in an exclusive interview with The Standard yesterday, Kimani said KWS would not entertain criminal activities within the force.