Tanzania: Trial for Elephant Conservationist Killer in Final Stage


Faustine Kapama, Tanzania Daily News via AllAfrica

Date Published
The prosecution is in final touches of preparing essential documents for filing information to the High Court regarding the trial of 22 people, including two Burundian nationals, allegedly linked with the killing of leading Elephant Conservationist in Tanzania, South African Wayne Lotter.

This was revealed by Senior State Attorney Wankyo Simon, for the prosecution, at the Kisutu Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dar es Salaam when the murder trial came for mention before Senior Resident Magistrate in Charge Godfrey Isaya on Tuesday.

The trial attorney disclosed that the prosecution was still compiling the required documents and, thus, requested the court to grant them another time considering the fact that such ongoing process was a legal matter of great importance.

“Under the circumstances, your honour, we pray for another mention date,” the prosecuting attorney requested. The magistrate granted the request and adjourned the matter for another mention on October 26, 2020.

The development stated by the prosecution comes after completion of the investigations into the trial. The accused persons into the matter are two Burundian nationals Nduimana Zebedayo, alias Mchungaji and Habonimana Nyandwi, alias Ogistee.

In the same boat are Khalid Mwinyi, alias Banyata, a banker and his sister, Rahma Mwinyi, alias Baby, a businesswoman, Mohamed Maganga, an office attendant, Godfrey Salamba, Innocent Kimaro, Chambie Ally and Allan Mafuwe, who are all businessmen as well as Robert Mwaipyana, a bank officer.

Others are Ismail Mohamed, alias Machips, a Somali national and Abdallah Bawaziri, alias Bawaziri, a resident of Dodoma, Leonard Makoi, Amini Sham, Ayoub Selemani, Joseph Lukoa, Gaudence Matemu, Abuu Mkingie, Almasi Swedi, alias Malcom, Emmanuel Sonde, Kelvin Soko and Samia Hujat.

All accused persons are facing two charges of conspiracy and murder. 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 organization 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.