Kenya: Balala Suspends 6 KWS Officials as Report on Rhino Deaths Points to Gross Negligence

By Jeremiah Wakaya | All Africa | 26/07/2018

Nairobi — Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has suspended six Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officers over negligence following the deaths of 10 out of eleven rhinos translocated to the Tsavo East National Park in June.

Among those suspended on Thursday is the service’s Deputy Director in-charge of Biodiversity, Research and Monitoring, Samuel Kasiki, who according to a report tabled by a six-member probe team failed to coordinate research-line departments at the KWS leading to poor decision-making.

Balala noted with regret the inaction of the sanctioned KWS officers who failed to take appropriate action despite a finding in February that two boreholes sank at the holding area where the rhinos were to be relocated in June had high salinity.

According to the report presented to Balala, the two boreholes drilled by Davis and Shirtliff with the funding of World Wide Fund for Nature had salinity levels of 26,200 and 5,600 parts-per million respectively.

A nearby spring had a salinity level of 6,500 parts-per million, the investigation showed.