The leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Freeman Mbowe, (Chadema), yesterday disclosed a harrowing story on the mass slaughter of elephants in the country, saying that there are factories grinding ivory before exported.
He said this when discussing 2013/14 budget estimates of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
He said people involved in the illicit trade have discovered a smart way of conducting the evil by grinding ivory before exportation, which makes it difficult for security officers to detect.
He did not name the industries alleged to offer services to poachers.
“There’re factories involved in this activity in the country. They simply smash the ivory until it turns into some fine flour-like mix, making easier for them to export it without anyone discovering that they are actually exporting ivory,” he said.
“Such crushed ivory is simply put into normal travelling bags during transportation,” Mbowe who is the Hai Constituency legislator said.
Mbowe told the House that one kg of ivory sells at between USD3,500 and 4,500, making it a lucrative business which keeps attracting many people since the government hasn’t put much effort into addressing the problem.
He said poaching is a well-organised crime involving a network of well-to-do individuals, some of whom are within the country’s administrative system.
“There’s no political will in addressing the problem because there are some leaders involved in the illegitimate business,” he said. More....