By Stella Jimmy
Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki has vowed to adamantly fight against poachers, warning that none will be spared and that the government cannot afford to be accused of netting the small fish while the whales and sharks swim free in a sea of deception.
The Minister made the remark yesterday in Dar es Salaam during a flag raising ceremony to mark the 68th anniversary of the United Nations worldwide.
“An escalation of wildlife crimes, an assault on our elephants and rhinos can no longer be tolerated,” she said noting “…this is not s small players’ arena but the big leagues with big names and famous players, we can not be accused of netting the small fishes while the whales and sharks are loose at sea,” Kagasheki called upon the international community to help fight the war so as to create a future where the rule of law and good governance are respected and upheld by all members of society.
Statistics, show that 30 elephants are killed every day, 850 in a month and 10,000 annually. Various government leaders have been challenging the government to carry out a nationwide special operation to fight the menace.
Corruption has been cited as the main reason that contributes to the ongoing elephant poaching in the country that is said to have involved in it police officers at the airports, employees at the national parks, and politicians as well as businessmen.
Although at least 4,066 poachers were arrested and 1,899 weapons used in poaching seized between 2010 and last year but for a sustainable appraoch, there is need for the government to take on board issues of youth employment and empowerment and given their due seat in the on-going discussions on sustainable development goals and post 2015 development agenda.