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Rising Concern About Politicians’ Ties to Poaching in Tanzania

Photo © Nevit Dilmen

At a press conference last Friday, Tanzania shadow minister Rev Peter Msigwa cited some alarming statistics about poaching in his country and called for a special independent probe into the problem.  He stated that at least 23,000 elephants per year are being killed by poachers in Tanzania’s parks, the equivalent of 67 per day, and that 25% of all illegal ivory seizures have been determined to originate in Tanzania.

Msigwa said that he would call for the probe in the next parliamentary session and would ask that it be given wide-ranging power and authority, in light of recent claims of politicians and other government officials being involved in the illegal ivory trade. The recent arrest and ongoing investigations of several police officers in connection with a poaching ring added fuel to such concerns.