WAYNE LOTTER MURDER: Killers face hangman’s noose

THE High Court in Dar es Salaam has sentenced eleven people to death by hanging after being found guilty of killing leading elephant conservationist in Tanzania, South African Wayne Lotter.

The convicts are Rahma Almasi Mwinyi alias Baby, Nduimana Ogistee alias Mchungaji (Rundi), Godfrey Peter Salamba, Chambie Juma Ally, Allan Elkana Mafue, Ismail Issa Mohamed alias Machips, Leonard Philip Makou, Ayoub Seleman Kiholu, Abuu Omary Mkingue, Hobinimana Augustine alias Nyandwi (rundi) and Michael Daudi Kwavava.

The High Court Judge Leila Edith Mgonya delivered the verdict after convicting them of two offenses of conspiracy to commit murder and murder.

The judge ruled that the prosecution proved the charge against the convicts beyond reasonable doubt as required in criminal cases.

During the trial, the prosecution was led by Principal State Attorney Yamico Mlekano, who was assisted by other five State Attorneys while the defence was led by Carol Mluge, Advocate Leading counsel.

The prosecution claimed that on diverse dates between July 1 and August 16, 2017, within the United Republic of Tanzania, all accused persons conspired to murder Wayne 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 Lotter, who was a South African anti-poacher campaigner.

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 before shooting 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 organisation 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 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.

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