By Faustine Kapama, The Daily News
The prosecution is in the final stages of completing investigations into trial of 18 people who are allegedly linked with the killing of leading elephant conservationist in Tanzania, South African Wayne Lotter.
State Attorney Easter Martin, for the prosecution, told the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court on Friday that the prosecution was currently in the process of compiling necessary documents to prepare the information that would be filed to the High Court for trial.
“There are few areas that we are working with. The file has been forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions for perusal. Under the circumstances, we pray for another mention date,” the trial attorney told Senior Resident Magistrate Godfrey Isaya.
However, before adjournment of the case, one Burundian national Habonimana Nyandwi, alias Ogistee registered his complaint on discrimination at Keko Remand Prison, by being denied food. “This is the fifth day we have not been given food. We request you, your honour, to help us,” amid sobs, the accused claimed. His coBurundian, Nduimana Zebedayo, alias Mchungaji, fell down as he was moving to the dock when the case was called on.
The state attorney informed the court that they were not aware of such a situation, but promised to follow up the matter closely. The magistrate adjourned the case to January 28, 2020 and directed the prosecution to give a detailed report on the matter.
Apart from the two Burundians, other accused persons are Khalid Mwinyi, alias Banyata, a banker and his sister, Rahma Mwinyi, alias Baby, a businesswoman.
Others are Mohamed Maganga, an office attendant, Godfrey Salamba, Innocent Kimaro, Chambie Ally and Allan Mafuwe, who are all businessmen, Robert Mwaipyana, a bank officer, Ismail Mohamed, alias Machips, a Somali national and Abdallah Bawaziri, alias Bawaziri, a resident of Dodoma.
In the same boat are Leonard Makoi, Amini Sham, Ayoub Selemani, Joseph Lukoa, Gaudence Matemu and Abuu Mkingie, who are all businessmen. The prosecution claims that on diverse dates between July 1 and August 16, 2017, within the United Republic of Tanzania, all accused persons conspired to murder Wayne Derek Lotter.
It is alleged that on August 16, 2017, at the junction of Chole and Haile Selasie Road within Kinondoni District in the Commercial City of Dar es Salaam, the accused persons murdered Wayne Derek Lotter, who was a South African anti-poacher campaigner. Wayne Lotter was shot when he was being driven from the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere International Airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle.
Two men, one armed with a gun allegedly opened his car door and shot him. Lotter was a director and co-founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa. Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work.
It is alleged that Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife, from working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania. In 2009, he teamed up with Krissie Clark and Ally Namangaya to form the PAMS Foundation. Together they worked tirelessly with communities in Tanzania to protect the country’s wildlife.
Through his work with PAMS, Wayne helped train hundreds of village game scouts throughout Tanzania. His groundbreaking work in developing an intelligence-based approach to anti-poaching helped successfully reverse the rampant rates of poaching, and he helped to dismantle some of the most important ivory trafficking syndicates in Africa.
Though he knew his personal safety was at risk, he never backed down from the fight. Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile.
He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.