Tanzania: Straight Talk – Mourning Lotter, Great Fighter of Jumbo Poaching
Ally Saleh, The Citizen
August 20, 2017
See link <http://allafrica.com/stories/201708210008.html> for photo.
I will probably sound angry or disappointed as I pen down this article. But
I believe most of my readers will agree with me on the concern I wish to
raise and address today.
It is of great national interest to which we all have seen and heard
several government leaders issuing utterances in support or in condemnation
of the attacks on a very important animal – the elephant.
The animals now face extinction, to prevent this from happening several
efforts have been made. Campaigns are on going.
The alarm has never stopped ringing and the call has received support from
near and afar knowing that the elephants, like all endangered animals, are
a human heritage, and when they are finished it is a calamity to the world
and not only to the countries losing them.
Of course we all know the elephant is hunted, killed because of their tusks
which attract high prices in the Far East for many traditional reasons and
of which several organizations including CITES have aroused the world
interest on its banning.
Sales of ivory have been banned but in reality the business continues in
the black market involving criminals and gangs as it is certainly a billion
We would be wrong to deny that Tanzania has been the hub of the business.
The country has not only lost a number of elephants but has also been a
battle ground and even a significant route for the trade.
One of the high profile proponent or supporter of war against killing of
elephants for their tusks has been Wayne Lotter of PAMS.
His organisation helped saving thousands of elephants in Tanzania and has
been the source of several arrests of suspected traffickers in this
Lotter, 51, who had the zeal and drive to fight against poachers and
dismantling their networks, was shot dead in Dar es Salaam by two gun
totting assailants in a day certainly one of the darkest in Tanzania’s
fight against ivory trade and corruption in general.
Such death has certainly put a drawback to President Magufuli’s efforts to
fight high level corruption against a person who was constantly blocked by
its ugly face as for sure corruption is the driving force in ivory trade as
it touching all sources from the parks, storage, police stations, courts
I believe it is a very expensive exercise to arrest poachers but more so
for the international ivory dealers. Lotter had distinguished himself and
put his life in danger all the time. I believe he knew he made more enemies
each day and he knew, as much he was after them, they were also after him.
However, it saddens me that we have heard very little from high government
levels on this death of a person whose contribution can be matched with no
one along the whole line of our security organs.
I said at the beginning I might sound angry or disappointed and I really do.
Such death should have received full attention of the government and
probably a statement from Prime Minister and above, and above meaning the
Lotter put his life for our natural resources in the name of the most famed
Now it is not proper to question as to how much was he protected, knowing
he was always being pursued by ivory dealers, many of whom he has caused
pain in business and in jail confinements.
We only hope Lotter will be honoured for his contribution and that his
death will not pass just as one of them because it is not. He dies a hero
for Tanzania and he deserves recognition.
Mr Saleh is a lawyer, journalist, author, political commentator, media
consultant and poet. He is also the Member of Parliament for Malindi in