Tourism CS Najib Balala Fires KWS Acting Director General

  • Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has fired Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) acting Director General Julius Kimani replacing him with Charles Musyoki.

    Balala also suspended six other KWS officers among them Samuel Kasiki who was the Deputy Director in-charge of biodiversity, research, and monitoring.

    The changes follow the death of the tenth rhino that had been translocated to Tsavo East National Park. 

    Also suspended include Dr Francis Gakuya, who was head of veterinary services, Dr Mohamed Omar, who headed ecology as well as Dr Isaac Lekolool who was a senior vet.

    [caption caption="Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Acting Director General Julius Kimani "][/caption]

    Tsavo senior scientist Fredrick Lala and senior warden Felix Mwangagi were also suspended.

    Additionally, the CS also declared the abolishment of the post of Chief Operating Officer currently held by Nehemiah Rotich and that of advisor held by Mark Jenkins.

    Speaking during a press conference, Balala divulged that the tenth rhino had died while the eleventh and only rhino remaining of the 11 translocated, undergoing treatment after being attacked by lions on Wednesday night.

    Revealing the findings of an inquest into the unprecedented deaths of the rhinos, the report pointed out to water salinity as the cause of death of the rhinos, with investigators further noting that the animals had been stressed due to acute dehydration.

    The report has also established the negligence of Kenya Wildlife Service staff manning the sanctuary where the rhinos had been translocated as they failed to report the unusual change in animal behavior in time.

    Balala made public the report after conservationists demanded an investigation into the cause of death of the rhinos at Tsavo East National Park. 

    The conservationists also asked KWS to display the 18 horns to in a bid to disapprove claims that they had been sold.

    Last week, the CS Balala, who had visited the national park, told the public that the two remaining rhinos were being monitored closely adding that they had not shown any sign of ill-health.

    [caption caption="KWS officials monitoring one of the trans-located rhinos"][/caption]