By Jeremiah Kiplang
Environment Cabinet Secretary Judy Wakhungu has urged MPs to move with speed and pass the Wildlife Bill that seeks to tighten penalties for poachers.
Prof Wakhungu said poaching had shot up since the beginning of the year hence the need for the fast enactment of the proposed law, which she said is expected to play a bigger role in preventing the vice.
“We are keen on the speedy enactment of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill, 2013 that proposes stiffer and deterrent penalties. It has been published and tabled in Parliament but expect faster enactment,” she said Thursday in a speech read on her behalf by the ministry’s Principal Secretary Richard Lesiyampe during the launch of a special unit of security officers to tackle poachers.
The Bill will be read for the first time when the lawmakers return from their recess on September 17. It is expected that the proposed law will impose heftier penalties when it is enacted.
Last June, the Cabinet approved the Bill that is set to, among others, increase the fine to up to one million shillings for those found engaging in poaching.
Mr Lesiyampe said the Ministry was lobbying for enhanced sentences for those found guilty of poaching.
“These are not ordinary criminals. They are economic saboteurs who should not be treated softly anymore. We are thinking of 15 years imprisonment or even life sentences,” he said. More....