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Extinction haunts Kenyan elephants: 62 die in 5 months

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Extinction haunts Kenyan elephants: 62 die in 5 months

No fewer than 62 elephants have died between August and December 2021 due to drought.

In other to cushion the effect of drought, the wildlife ministry was preparing to build water pans in national parks to avoid more deaths.

Addressing parliament, the Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala said the elephants were lost between August and December 2021.

“Through August to December, 62 elephants have died due to drought. We are rushing to build water pans in our parks including Tsavo that is most affected,” Mr Balala told the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance.

He said the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) lacks sufficient resources to put up water pans in the drought-affected areas.

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“We as the Tourism Promotion Fund (TPF) are currently considering a request from the State Department for Wildlife of Sh200 million for the establishment of water pans, drilling of boreholes, dams and provision of water in Tsavo National Park,” Mr Balala said.

African News reported that Mr Balala said the Fund, meant for tourism promotion activities would intervene and allocate monies for the provision of water services to starving wildlife.

“We are considering the requests given the loss of 62 elephants due to drought within a period of four months,” Mr Balala told the committee.

Mr Balala said revenues generated by the KWS dropped from Sh4 billion annually to Sh1 billion following the Covid-19 economic fallout.

“We are struggling to pay their salaries and we are working to achieve our objectives as a sector,” Mr Balala said.

The Parliament, had last year, directed the National Treasury to set aside Sh3.2 billion to cover salaries and operations of KWS staff following the decline in revenue collection from park fees on account of coronavirus.

The State Department for Wildlife had warned that KWS would collect about 20 per cent of the projected Sh4.6 billion annual revenue from park fees due to reduced tourism activities caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The prolonged drought has taken a heavy toll on wildlife conservation activities in counties hardest hit by famine.

In February this year, a senior official for the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation stated that drought has caused the death of 1.5 million livestock and drastically cut cereal production.

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Nearly €20 million in contention as Chad arrests top oil sector, banking officials

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An investigation into embezzlement at the national oil company in Chad has led to the arrest of a group of senior officials from Chad’s oil and banking sectors.

According to the government, the arrest has been on over the past 10 days.

The Minister of Communication and government spokesman, Abderaman Koulamallah on Sunday said the embezzlement of 13 billion CFA francs (nearly 20 million euros) within the Chadian oil company (SHT) and the National Security Agency (ANS), the internal and external intelligence services, is conducting the investigation.

Among those arrested is the former private secretary of General Mahamat Déby, Idriss Youssouf Boy. Michel Boayam and Tahir Issa Ali Souleymane were also questioned in the framework of the investigation.

“Many people have been arrested and some have been released as part of the investigation into financial misappropriations of 13 billion CFA francs at the SHT.

“The case is currently being handled by the judiciary” and some of the defendants will eventually be presented to a judge at the end of the preliminary investigation, the spokesman added, without giving any details of the charges.” Koulamallah told journalists.

Chad is a modest oil producer, with 47 million barrels in 2021, The central African country joined the circle of African oil producing and exporting countries in the early 2000s and its economy is now very dependent on it.

It is not uncommon to identify corrupt trend in oil sector in Africa. Report says the 2005–2014 oil boom raised incentives for corruption across the oil industry’s value chain. A highly diverse set of private sector actors engaged in corrupt behavior.

Chad’s neighbour, Nigeria, who is also Africa’s largest oil producer, is perhaps the biggest reference to corruption in oil sector in the continent. Efforts from the Nigerian government to investigate and curtail the ill can be traced to the 1950s during the Olusegun Obasanjo military regime. A panel of enquiry was set up to investigate a Two Billion, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira fraud which could not be accounted for by the NNPC.

The cases of corruption in the sector once again raises question if the liquid tressure has been a blessing or curse to the “black continent.”

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326 Mozambican Police officers dismissed for involvement in crimes since 2020

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The Mozambican Police Force (PRM), has dismissed 326 officers from the force since 2020 over their involvement in different crimes which include extortion, bribery, use of excessive force and violence against citizens.

The dismissal of the police officers was as a result of a 2020/2021 report on human rights abuse in the country put together by the Mozambican Bar Association (OAM), which was released last week in Maputo.

According to the 2020 report, many arbitrary detentions persisted including situations of people being locked up for more than 48 hours in cells and detainees driven to prisons without any magistrate validating their detention.

“Among various abuses, the violence practiced by the police also includes physical assault, arbitrary detention and sometimes even murders.

“For instance, four police officers were sentenced to the maximum penalty of 23 and 24 years in prison, for their involvement, on 7 October 2019, in the murder of the executive director of the Forum of Non-Governmental Organizations of Gaza (FONGA), Anastácio Matavel,” the report stated.

The OAM also recommended exemplary disciplinary, administrative and criminal accountability of those police officers involved in violence against citizens, as well as modification of the requirements for admission of candidates for a police career, ensuring that only persons who show a commitment to the cause of law and order and public security are admitted.

The OAM also called for the dissemination of information on crimes of violence committed by the police, including the names of the officers involved and the disciplinary measures taken.

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