Kenyan Wildlife Service CEO arrested

Ecotourism Kenya has refuted claims by the Kenya Wildlife Service that they are not responsible for the arrest of their CEO Kahindi Lekalhaile last Thursday.

Kahindi had contributed to an article in the Nation newspaper suggesting that 2,000 elephants a year were being killed in Kenya. He was arrested but released on cash bail of Sh30,000 from Langata police station until March 29, when he has to report back to CID.

On Saturday, the Nation ran a short story saying that Kahindi was never arrested and the KWS did not instigate any arrest. That prompted Ecotourism to challenge the KWS denial. “Kenya Wildlife Service has no basis to deny that the arrest of Mr Kahindi occurred. The police cash bail receipt (which clearly states that Kahindi was arrested for ‘undermining the authority of a public officer’ i.e. the complainant, KWS Director), together with Mr Kahindi’s statement written in the presence of KWS officers and and the occurrence book record attest to and confirms Kahindi’s arrest, interrogation and detention related to a complaint by the KWS Director, Julius Kipngetich about Mr Kahindi’s published opinion,” Ecotourism Kenya said in a statement yesterday.

“The cash bail period extension was signed last Tuesday morning by the Divisional Criminal Investigations Officer at Langata police station in the presence of two investigations officers from Kenya Wildlife Service,” they added. “Ecotourism Kenya still agrees with Mr Kahindi that last year witnessed one of the worst episodes of ivory poaching in recent times, which may have resulted in the death of hundreds of elephants,” said the statement.

“The poaching menace has been continued since the beginning of this year and the situation is growing worse daily, given the high number of poaching incidents reported by KWS and other wildlife stakeholders, including tour operators countrywide. This is a big threat to tourism”, Ecotourism said.

The Coat of arms of Kenya

The Coat of arms of Kenya (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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