By Kings Waweru, Wambugu Kanyi
Two suspected poachers were arrested on Tuesday in Lamuria village, Laikipia Central. Kenya Wildlife Service rangers in Nyeri nubbed the duo and recovered two guns. The rangers said one suspect is believed to be a Tanzanian witch doctor while the other is Kenyan. Mountain Conservation Region KWS assistant director Aggrey Maumo said two other suspects escaped arrest.
He said the rangers tracked the suspects with sniffer dogs. "One of the suspects is a Tanzanian, who claimed to be a witchdoctor who performs rituals to poachers ahead of a raid," Maumo said. He said the suspect confessed that his charms help poachers escape arrests or avoid security officers.
"He said that he performs the rituals every time poachers intend to invade a ranch for criminal purposes. We arrested him alongside Kenyan and we have already handed them over to the police so that they can be charged in court," Maumo said.
He said the rangers arrested the two men with the help of colleagues from Solio Ranch. "We believe the guns have been used in several raids in Solio ranch, where at least ten rhinos have been killed," said Maumo.
He said several spent cartridges recovered from poaching scenes are compatible with the rifles. The incident comes barely four months after a rifle and 117 assorted ammunition were recovered at a farm opposite former President Kibaki's newly constructed residence. Nyeri OCPD Kirunya Limbitu said the rifle is a modified Barretta.
He said it was found on a fenced grassland where the poachers could have hid it. More....