In a shocking report published by a leading Kenyan newspaper – The Star – claims are being made that senior staff of the Kenya Wildlife Service are working with poachers in order to undermine the appointment of the new KWS Director William Kiprono. The paper claims that the big increase in elephant poaching in Kenya and especially in Tsavo is driven by unhappy senior staff.
Sources within Kenya Wildlife Service told the paper that when the family of 12 elephants were a few weeks ago the rangers had been sent off in the opposite direction. Sources say that the poaching was timed to be undertaken while the Director was away on holiday and was part of a plot to frustrate the new director.
William Kiprono was a surprise appointment to the post of the KWS, while being a long-term career civil servant he was not one of the people that staff of the KWS or conservationists in the country expected to be promoted into such a high profile position. His appointment was a presidential one and happened just a few days after the KWS board had appointed an interim acting director, Peter Leitoro. There are claims that a lot of people are unhappy with the appointment.
In recent days there has been major changes to the leadership of the KWS with Julius Kimani who is Senior Assistant Director (Intelligence) being moved from the KWS headquarters to take over the running of Tsavo region and to try and bring the poaching back under control.