By Aisia Rweyemamu
As the war against poaching continues around the world, a well known poacher at Kisaki village in Morogoro region has been arrested… with a weapon which believed to be government property.
Reliable sources among the villagers said the hardcore poacher notoriously known as Kikono (one handed man) was arrested on Tuesday this week in mid reserved forest hunting endangered elephants.
Police sources confirmed that Kikono, a recidivist offender, was re-arrested at Kisaki Police Station after falling under police custody following intelligence gathered from the villagers.
The arrested poacher was codenamed “Kikono” after surviving a gunshot by a game warden in past years in face to face gunfire when he escaped wardens in the reserved forest.
They added that Kikono, a hardcore criminal in poaching, has been arrested several times by game wardens but in a few weeks time he is observed to be free.
One game warden told this paper that “we arrested Kikono last night and after inspecting his home we found a big gun which is believed to be government property.”
When they arrested him, the criminal told the game wardens to “take him anywhere but he would be released soon and join with them in the streets.”
The game warden told this paper that they are disappointed with the situation but they can’t give up as they are just performing their duties.
On Thursday this week, this paper met with the Officer Commanding Station (OCS) of Kisaki village Alfred Lwambano who said that they brought the criminal to the Morogoro police station but he refused to provide any information, saying he is not the authorized person to talk.
The OCS said he was not the authorized person to talk about these issues. “You should contact the Morogoro OCD who will give you such information, because we have already taken him to Morogoro police station.”
Information from the Kisaki police station indicates that the criminal was transferred to Morogoro station on Wednesday.
When this paper contacted the Morogoro Regional Police Commander (RPC) Faustine Shilogile he said he was not in office and asked us to contact his assistant, John Laswai.
For his part, Laswai said that he had no information about the arrested poacher, promising to make a follow up on the issue and provide more details.
The paper also contacted the Minister for Tourism and Natural Resources, Lazaro Nyalandu who said that he was not aware of the event, also promising to make follow up.
In another development, villagers at Kisaki area blamed the government for protecting Kikono, saying that he is always being freed after being arrested.
“This is not the first time for him to be arrested by game warders. He was arrested for the same case of poaching and taken to the police by helicopter but in an incredible situation after a few weeks they saw him around in the streets,” they said.
Habitual ppoachers like Kikono are very dangerous as they poach with guns, shooting to directly kill the elephant.
If shouters will be arrested there will be no more poaching in the country, they emphasized.