The Eleven accused persons that were on trial for killing the South African conservationist, Wayne Lotter have been found guilty of the charges and slapped with death sentence.
Apparently, two of the accused persons who have also get the capital punishment are non-Tanzanians hailing from the neighboring country of Burundi.
Wayne Lotter a conservationist and one of the founders of PAMS Foundation, was gunned down five years ago after the assailants ambushed his vehicle.
Now the people who have been on trial for the 2017 murder of the conservationist have each been sentenced to death at the Dar-es-salaam court on Wednesday December 2, 2022.
In the ruling issued by the High Court, Dar-es-salaam Registry, Judge Laila Mgonya sent the eleven accused persons to the gas chamber.
The Convicts are Rahma Almas, Nduimana Ogiste, Chambie Juma Ally from Kilimanjaro, Godfrey Salamba from Burundi and Ismail Issah.
Others were Michael Kwavava, Allan Elikana Mafue, Leonard Philipo Makoi, Ayoub Selemani Kiholi, Abuu Omary Mkingie and Habonimanda Augustine Nyandwi also from Burundi.
The deceased, Wayne Derek Lotter was 51 years when he was killed in August 2017.
He was a well-known South African conservationist who had been working in Tanzania since 2008.
Wayne was gunned down in a targeted attack in August 2017 when the vehicle he was travelling in was ambushed.
Lotter, who had regularly received death threats, was shot dead on Wednesday, 16 August 2017, while travelling in a taxi in Dar es Salaam City.
Speaking after the judgement, PAMS co-founder and Director, Krissie Clark said that she and her colleagues are relieved that the trial is over.
“We are ready to close this sad chapter and focus on empowering the people of Tanzania to protect and live in harmony with nature. Wayne’s murder and the sentencing of the eleven accused should serve as a reminder to everyone that poaching, and wildlife crime is devastating to all of us. It destroys Tanzania’s extraordinary natural heritage and damages families and communities. Wildlife crime doesn’t pay.”Krissie Clark
Although the eleven people convicted of Lotter’s murder have been sentenced to death, Tanzania usually does not carry out executions.
The eleven will therefore not face the electric chair and instead serve live imprisonment.
Clark says the Tanzanian authorities must be commended for their dedication throughout the investigation and trial.
“As PAMS Foundation, we would really like to thank the police, the investigators and the prosecution team for their incredible work over the last five years.”
She says the legal personalities showed remarkable skill and determination in solving what has been a very complicated and difficult case.
Clark thanked the Tanzanian government for their dedication to fighting the scourge of poaching and environmental crime.
She vowed to continue assisting the state in protecting Tanzania’s people and the country’s wildlife.
In a final tribute to her late colleague, Clark says that Lotter’s legacy of creativity, resilience, compassion and total dedication to conservation lives on through PAMS Foundation’s work.
“Wayne had a remarkable ability to inspire people with his passion for wildlife and his legendary sense of humor. His spirit lives on in the work we do every day”
Wayne Lotter obtained a master’s degree in nature conservation in the 1990s.
Afterwards, Lotter started working in a number of non-profit wildlife conservation sectors.
Initially Wayne kicked off his conservation life as a ranger in South Africa.
Later, Lotter would establish the PAMS Foundation an entity which has been training thousands of young Africans in conservation.
As it happens, Lotter was also involved in funding the National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit in Tanzania which had successfully pursued a number of high-profile ivory traffickers.