We’re still trying to get the actual transcript of what Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki actually said but reports are coming in that soldiers and rangers are to be given orders to shoot poachers on the spot. It’s being reported that Kagasheki sees no reason for poachers to be arrested and bought to trial when they can be dealt with in the jungle.
It’s being reported in Chinese media that after the March for Elephants in Tanzania’s capital Arusha he said,
“There will be no forgiveness when it comes to cases of poachers terrorizing innocent wildlife like elephants, rhinos and other species in this country,” Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Khamis Kagasheki said, adding there will be no need for poachers to take them to court.
He went on to warn that poachers operating in state parks and reserves should pack up their guns and leave because rangers and soldiers will be ordered to shoot on the spot any poacher discovered.
Kagasheki said he dismisses any actions from Human Rights organisations and Tanzania will listen to no-one when it comes to implementing the protection of the country’s wildlife.
“I am very aware that some alleged human rights activists will make an uproar, claiming that poachers have as much rights to be tried in courts as the next person, but let’s face it, poachers not only kill wildlife but also usually never hesitate to shoot dead any innocent person standing in their way,” Kagasheki said.
He said that trials take too long and sometimes the poachers get acquitted on technical grounds. Those issues will be solved by shooting the poachers on the spot.
He also announced that Tanzania will be launching a full survey soon to find out just how many elephants are being lost to poachers as estimates range between 30 and 70 elephant killing a day happening in the country.
Update: 5/10/2013: In a report in the Tanzanian national newspaper it is being reported that Kagasheki said that he could not help feel that shooting poachers on the spot would be the best thing to do.
Unlike in the Chinese media reports there are no indications that this shoot to kill policy is to be a government policy.
In another report from Tanzania it says that Kagasheki has issued soot to kill orders to a small group of specially trained wildlife rangers.