My life is under threat, claims deputy minister

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Deputy Minister for Natural
Resources and Tourism Lazaro
Nyalandu has said the ongoing
campaign against poaching in
Tanzania has put his life at risk.
He said he was aware the campaign
against poaching, a business
involving affluent people, was
‘extremely dangerous’ to his life.
However, he told The Guardian on
Sunday here mid this week that he
would not be deterred by the threat
because he was confident he was
well protected.
But Nyalandu would neither give
further information on the risk he
faced nor give details of the kind of
protection he had.
According to the minister, the trade
in rhino horns and elephants tusks
was being conducted by a network of
rich people, including corrupt
politicians, government leaders as
well as large scale businesspeople
and foreigners.
“There will be no stone left
unturned in this war. No individual
participating in the business will be
spared as elephants and rhinos face
extinction,” he said.
Additionally, he said the government
had set aside enough funds to carry
out the operation against the
poachers, hinting that the majority
of them are Arabs and Chinese.
Nyalandu said there were two
categories of poachers. The first
comprise those who use fire arms to
kill big numbers of elephants in
various game reserves and national
parks.
The government had increased the
number of security personnel to at
least 4,060 who had so far
impounded 1,700 firearms in the last
three years, he explained.
A legislator for Singida South (CCM),
Nyalandu said the second category
of poachers were businessmen who
send firearms to poachers in game
areas, joined by groups of more
businessmen.
He described them as the biggest
‘sponsors’ of the illegal practices
supported by unlawful politicians.
He said many people had developed
a get rich desire, adding that they
were ready to use whatever means to
get there. This he further said
increased market potential for the
elephant tusks and rhino horns.
He said: “We stand for the national
resources…this means saving the
remaining 130,000 elephants up
from a former number of 350,000 in
2009.”
He declared to mount a campaign to
include announcements through
media organs within and outside the
country against poaching.
Meanwhile, Nyalandun this week
received 18 activists who walked
from Arusha to Dar e Salaam to
protest the rampant killings of
rhinos and elephants in the
country’s game areas and national
parks.
SOURCE: GUARDIAN ON SUNDAY

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