Will new Kenya government lift hunting ban?
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, May 2003:
NAIROBI–Kenya has a new President, National Rainbow
Coalition candidate Mwai Kibaki, succeeding Daniel arap Moi,
President since 1978.
Kibaki, a longtime leading member of the parliamentary opposition to
the arap Moi regime, almost immediately replaced the entire Kenya
Wildlife Service board of directors, fueling concern that Kibaki may
next move to overturn the national ban on sport hunting enforced
throughout arap Moi’s tenure as–according to Ghosts of Tsavo author
Philip Caputo–a gesture of respect to Daphne Sheldrick, widow of
Tsavo National Park founder David Sheldrick and pioneer of successful
rehabilitation of orphaned elephants.
The removal of two-time KWS director Richard Leakey from the
KWS board is of particular concern, International Fund for Animal
Welfare regional director Amed Khan told ANIMAL PEOPLE. “We know for
sure that the sport hunting crowd couldn’t be happier, as they have
long felt that Leakey was the only person standing in their way”
post-Moi, Khan continued.
KWS chief Michael Wamithi, who previously headed the IFAW
office in Nairobi, “is going to need all the help he can get,” Khna
“Yes indeed,” confirmed Youth for Conservation founder
Josphat Nyongo. “Wamithi will need all the help he can get,
especially now that the KWS board includes Dr. Imre Lofler, chair of
the East Africa Wildlife Society and a close friend of the ranchers.
As you may imagine,” Nyongo explained, “it is the ranchers who have
been pushing for sport hunting and are practicing game cropping.”
The pro-hunting faction sees opportunity in the collapse of
the Zimbabwean trophy hunting industry due to land invasions by “war
veterans” supporting the shaky Robert Mugabwe regime.
The pro-hunting campaign gains numbers from farmers and
herders whose crops and livestock are harmed by elephants, buffalo,
lions, and leopards who wander out of Tsavo and other wildlife
parks–but the average Kenyan is unlikely to prosper from hunting.
Though hunting supporters anticipate a lucrative guiding and trophy
ranching industry for those who have the means to get involved, they
have difficulty making a case that hunting will benefit as many
Kenyans as much as nonlethal tourism did before it was almost killed
in the late 1980s by an explosion of elephant ivory and rhino horn
The Kenyan wildlife parks and tourism are still struggling
to recover. Yet nonlethal tourism remains among the top five
national industries, with capacity to expand rapidly when the global
economy improves and fears of terrorism subside.
Said Khan, “We will out of necessity be launching a vigorous
campaign to stop the utilization crowd from trying to sneak through
sport hunting. Kenya only needs to look to Tanzania to see what will
happen if they allow it. This is clearly a case of a few individuals
with a dollar-driven agenda, covering their ambitions with bogus
The failure of sport hunting to build a strong rural economy
in Tanzania and the loss of wildlife to hunters’ excesses are
spotlighted by the Tanzania-based Masai Environmental Resource
Coalition (www.maasaierc.org) in a new downloadable report entitled
The Killing Fields of Lolondo: Hunting Operations of the Ortello
Business Co. and their Impact on Masai Rights, Wildlife, and the