More controversy over poaching figures as opposition politician claims real numbers more than twice as high


The member of parliament for the Iringa constituency Mr. Peter Msigwa, has yesterday made blistering allegations against unnamed top politicians and called for a fresh parliamentary enquiry into the true extent of poaching in Tanzania, when he claimed that over a quarter of all blood ivory now comes from Tanzania. He also put the figure quoted in a parliamentary report in the middle of last year of 10.000 poached elephant per year into doubt when he quoted a figure of over 23.000 of these animals having been slaughtered last year, which would raise the daily count to 67, up from the acknowledge 30 a day under the last such report.

Last week reports came from Arusha of senior police officials being nabbed red handed in a poaching ring, inflicting some serious damage to the credibility of government assurances that all in their power was being done to end the devastating assault on the country’s wildlife, unprecedented in history as one source from Arusha put it.

Without tabling any solid evidence the MP made a wide range of claims against unnamed senior government officials and politicians to be involved in the racket and promised to raise the matter in parliament to launch a full scale enquiry into poaching, the financiers, and middlemen.

The fresh allegations come only weeks after Tanzania withdrew the application to CITES to be permitted to sell what they call legal ivory stocks, when it became apparent that the list of stringent requirements for such an application to be accepted by the CITES Secretariat in Lusaka could not be met, besides growing global opposition to the country’s stand on wildlife conservation. Watch this space as the latest round of spats and public arguments over the scale of poaching in Tanzania now unfolds.

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