PETITION SEEKS KAGESHEKI REINSTATEMENT
(Posted 25th December 2013)
Clearly did the sacking of Amb. Khamis Kagesheki as Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism not go down well with that country’s tourism and conservation fraternity as a petition is now circulating to have him reinstated. Many see his sacking as misguided, if not an outright coverup, though his three sacked colleagues in turn have gotten the thumbs down.
Kagesheki’s took the fight, from the moment he was appointed as minister, to lazy and corrupt officials in the wildlife and forestry departments and, inspite of ongoing meddling and thinly concealed opposition from other government officials did what he could to marshal his forces and enforce antipoaching measures, often obstructed, mired in red tape and short of resources to roll out a major offensive.
Tanzania has been cited as the worst slaughterhouse for the African elephant and only recently did the Prime Minister, himself under pressure to resign, mention that in the Selous only 13.000 elephant were left. That figure, and there was no clarification given as to where the figures came from or are based on, would be, if correct, a damning indictment of the Tanzanian governments inability, perhaps unwillingness, to confront poaching as in the past the number of elephant in the Selous was counted in the tens of thousands. A game survey is underway in Tanzania now and it is hoped that the true figures of elephant, and other game, can eventually be verified to take stock of what has happened since the last major such exercise.
‘Like with every government official we had issues with Kagesheki too but overall he was doing a good job. I personally think, and so do many of my colleagues, that he was the sacrifical lamb. He was targetted by the poaching syndicate and of course never given the resources to coordinate and carry out anti poaching under his ministry or through TANAPA. The botched Tokomeza operation was almost deliberately divided over several ministries and from all we know Kagesheki was never briefed in advance about locations, operational details and so forth. He was in the dark and at times had to find out things through the press or was told after things happened. I support the petition and will lobby to have others sign it too’ commented one stakeholder with more than average insight into the affairs of the Tanzanian tourism and conservation sector.
Meanwhile once again all the best to Ambassador Khamis, Merry Christmas and a fresh start in 2014, wherever that may be.